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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: The Pilgrim's Path (07/19/22)

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Author Topic: [0.95.1a] TC: Archean Order: Rebalanced Combat/Lore RPG - *hotfix* 4/14/22  (Read 564366 times)

6chad.noirlee9

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idk i kinda like the dramatic large bays, especially for new players to see them
they do seem a bit dramatic, but i dont think they should be reduced as much as the onslaught
the aroura was a pretty good example though: still obvious enough
i mean, one of the main points of this mod is the heavy use of fighters
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edit: edit: maybe were just falling with style LOL.  make a bubble, make the space in front of it smaller and just fall forward

Morrokain

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after removing that mod i havent had any issues
Good to hear!

About ship sprites, how about idea to make hangars on some ships more subtle? For example on Aurora and Paragon they kinda ruin sleek design of these ships.

Here some my ideas of fixing that, although I'm not skilled at texture edits, on Onslaught hangars from pirate Onslaught from HMI and Aurora had hangars from Tempest: https://imgur.com/a/Hsub5mk
I have to say I really like these - especially the Onslaught and Aurora. The Onslaught because of the facing and how it now better matches the Legion bay style. Where did you get these? Do I need permission from anyone? HMI is Hazard Mining Incorporated, correct? I'll send a PM to King Alfonzo.

The only one I likely won't go with is the Paragon. That's mostly because I intend upon increasing its bays to 6 instead of 4 and that would be too small of a bay to make visual sense.

idk i kinda like the dramatic large bays, especially for new players to see them
they do seem a bit dramatic, but i dont think they should be reduced as much as the onslaught
the aroura was a pretty good example though: still obvious enough
i mean, one of the main points of this mod is the heavy use of fighters
Overall I agree, but I do like the proposed Onslaught's look since it has a low tech vibe over the current bays. I also like forward facing bays more for that sprite though that's just a personal preference. I just could never come up with anything that looked good enough in the past but that was when there were far less carrier sprites to work with. While its more subtle to be sure, the Onslaught doesn't have many bays to begin with - though I may increase the number to 3 in the future. The recent changes to range let me do more with warship bays now and 2 may be a bit too low to provide enough interceptor coverage considering the increased strength of both strike craft and torpedoes.

I could further emphasize the bays with a bit more glow and that will probably be enough to let a new player know that fighters would be coming from the battleship. Thoughts?
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BreenBB

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I have to say I really like these - especially the Onslaught and Aurora. The Onslaught because of the facing and how it now better matches the Legion bay style. Where did you get these? Do I need permission from anyone? HMI is Hazard Mining Incorporated, correct? I'll send a PM to King Alfonzo.

The only one I likely won't go with is the Paragon. That's mostly because I intend upon increasing its bays to 6 instead of 4 and that would be too small of a bay to make visual sense.

From work of other people I only took hangars from Hazard Mining Incorporated pirate HWB Onslaught, I liked how bays are placed on it, so its doesn't alter the overall shape, Aurora bays are your work from AO Tempest, I don't know, maybe put armor at the top of the Hangar. Also sprites might be not very clean, but I'm not skilled at texturing, maybe they need some improvements, like how hangars blend on Aurora with the ship.

About Paragon, I replaced it circle because I liked perfect circle in middle from vanilla sprite, in AO its a bit messy, maybe as idea is copy that hangar which I leaved, and put it on sides of the circle, so Paragon will remain its design overall intact?
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 12:22:13 AM by BreenBB »
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Albreo

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The new craft report is up:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1BWd5Q_UxVQDnEGi3oHAsiBPTF0GVZG_W92BQYGIqEQU/edit?usp=sharing

I would like to point out that the impact of craft in combat is greatly diminishing and I could play without a carrier at all and only relying on a few interceptors and PDs. The trend is leaning toward vanilla where you only have to consider bigger guns and bigger ships. If most frigate could have more leeway to avoid death as much as Hyperion that would be more ideal for players to look toward small-scale combat. Probably a scripted ability to boost out + invunerability when on full flux will do.

There are still some vanilla crafts mixed in the full rooster with "allwings" cmd. I know they won't spawn or anything.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 12:57:57 AM by Albreo »
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Morrokain

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The new craft report is up:
For my reference, this is for 1.4.0.3, correct? My initial assumption is that it is a current analysis of the most recent update.

Or is this 1.4.0.2? (I will take feedback either way but there has been a large amount of changes between these two versions and I want to make sure I understand the context.)
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Albreo

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The new craft report is up:
For my reference, this is for 1.4.0.3, correct? My initial assumption is that it is a current analysis of the most recent update.

Or is this 1.4.0.2? (I will take feedback either way but there has been a large amount of changes between these two versions and I want to make sure I understand the context.)

This is for the latest version. I wrote the version number on the sheet name underneath.
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Morrokain

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@Albreo
Ok gotcha I looked at it more closely and read the key. I will evaluate it over a couple of days.

Overall, thank you very much for doing this! I find it extremely helpful since it categorizes the craft by multiple strengths and weaknesses rather than just giving blanket assertions. For a dev, that is invaluable information.

My initial hot take is comprised of two main counter-points atm:

1) Replacement rate should be taken into consideration or otherwise rolled into the survivability grade and it doesn't seem like it is. (At a first glance.) For instance, the Wasp might be very fragile, but it replaces quickly enough that an F grade is somewhat misleading to its actual impact on replacement rate, if that makes sense. Same thing for E grades for the Spectre, Fang and Imp. In my tests with the Legion, it was actually fairly hard to reduce the replacement rate against Spectres. They could take 80% losses in one pass and be back to full strength in about 10-15 seconds - so not enough time to really reduce the replacement rate much.

2) Some survivability and anti-ship dps grades seem off from my own tests. But, that could be due to differing baseline expectations - which I will address below.

Questions: (Not just for Albreo, these are to determine expectations and context for future tests and will eventually probably result in a poll of some kind.)

  • Should bombers be *mostly* successful with their attack runs if interceptors are not there to protect the ship? Or should they be situationally useful but damaging?
  • How survivable should the baseline craft be against ship weapons? For instance, if one wing is under destroyer fire, how many seconds should the wing last?
  • Should shields be better than armor defensively? Why or why not?
  • Should at least a couple of carriers be required in the players fleet - whether to defend with interceptors or strike with bombers/gunships? Why or why not?
  • What are the most useful types of craft you have used atm and why? What aspect of their design makes them better to use over other craft?
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Albreo

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Quote
1) Replacement rate should be taken into consideration or otherwise rolled into the survivability grade and it doesn't seem like it is. (At a first glance.) For instance, the Wasp might be very fragile, but it replaces quickly enough that an F grade is somewhat misleading to its actual impact on replacement rate, if that makes sense. Same thing for E grades for the Spectre, Fang and Imp. In my tests with the Legion, it was actually fairly hard to reduce the replacement rate against Spectres. They could take 80% losses in one pass and be back to full strength in about 10-15 seconds - so not enough time to really reduce the replacement rate much.

Well, it's one of the very first crafts that I did a test with maybe I'm a little disappoint at how it goes poof in second. The reason for the initial low score is due to the vulnerability to all kinds of PD. It just doesn't cut it no matter how high the replacement rate is. The downtime is too severe to be worth it as they recuperate behind a carrier.

The survivability in question taking into account many things, mostly vaguely, including replacement rate, wing count. If it's a bomber/fighter, can come back from a bombing run get a bonus point. Mainly, the overall ability to maintain a full roster and maximize combat effectiveness, and these drones are far away from my expectation. It should be able to maintain at least 2/6 of the initial numbers at all times for it to get at least C while constantly engage in combat of equal proportion. And they are very weak against AoE fragmentation PD.

For example, The Aspect Shock. Even though it is the same cut as the rest of the variants, this thing can maintain a full roster due to its ability to neutralize all kinds of threats, therefore an S from me.

Now, I'm curious what kind of setup did you test with. I'm basically using a bare Astral against stock Astral/Executor/Eagle/Falcon. I don't even want to pair it with Legion, that thing is too crazy PD wise.

Quote
Should bombers be *mostly* successful with their attack runs if interceptors are not there to protect the ship? Or should they be situationally useful but damaging?
From my visualization of a space battle, they should be able to come back mostly intact. In my case, an Astral, at least 50% of what they deployed should be able to hit the target with no interceptor cover. But at the moment, PD can intercept almost 70-90% and whatever hit doesn't even increase flux level to 20%. The best scenario for me would be to boost the damage/HP of the torpedo really high and force the player to deploy interceptors/fighters as the only means to counter it. If the projectile speed is reduced I believe a frigate can avoid these easily.
Quote
How survivable should the baseline craft be against ship weapons? For instance, if one wing is under destroyer fire, how many seconds should the wing last?
Ship weapon you mean Non-PD? At the moment, I would say it already serves its purpose for being able to distract the main weapon lol.
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Should shields be better than armor defensively? Why or why not?
It should be equal to leveling the playfield. the armor is just superior at the moment. And I expect more expensive crafts to perform slightly better just slightly.
Quote
Should at least a couple of carriers be required in the players fleet - whether to defend with interceptors or strike with bombers/gunships? Why or why not?
It should because it will be too vanilla if it doesn't, just kidding. I would say it's situational. If you saw another fleet full of carriers and you didn't deploy your own, I expect you to be beaten half dead.
Quote
What are the most useful types of craft you have used atm and why? What aspect of their design makes them better to use over other craft?
I use every type for research purposes.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2021, 10:02:36 PM by Albreo »
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Puff12398

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Am having an issue where I receive a Fatal: null error. I am unsure of how to solve the issue and could not find a solution anywhere.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Fractal Softworks\Starsector\mods\Archean Order TC v1.4.0.2

This is where my file is located.

Anyone have this problem or know what it might be?
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Albreo

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Am having an issue where I receive a Fatal: null error. I am unsure of how to solve the issue and could not find a solution anywhere.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Fractal Softworks\Starsector\mods\Archean Order TC v1.4.0.2

This is where my file is located.

Anyone have this problem or know what it might be?

That is kind of not helpful. What you can do is post the bottom part of the crash log which can be located in \starsector-core\starsector.log

Cut out where the thing starts to go wrong with null error. Hopefully, it will mention which module is broken.

Also, your problem might have been solved already with patch 1.4.0.3 but I must stress that it's not save compatible.
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Morrokain

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@Albreo
Thank you for the explanation of how you grade and your responses in general. I will keep it all in mind as I test (though not making changes atm until more time has passed so I can keep the dev version as current as the update) and I've noted your opinion on carrier strength/role. Personally, I'm of the same mind, but I do get a lot of feedback that carriers are too strong when I balance that way. It's probably because there is a fair portion of the player base that doesn't want to use many carriers even defensively. Or they feel pigeonholed into using carrier spam as an optimal strategy - though I *think* that should be less effective in this mod since more weapons mean more overall PD.

I will say that gunships seem objectively better than bombers right now after the armor changes. Not having to rearm makes a world of difference if the ship is locked down by a swarm of strike craft. Though, bombers do a lot and arguably more damage per second if their ordinance gets through the PD. But at the end of the day, guaranteed is better than not guaranteed even if the damage difference per second would be higher. Just things I'm thinking about as I play.

Now, I'm curious what kind of setup did you test with. I'm basically using a bare Astral against stock Astral/Executor/Eagle/Falcon. I don't even want to pair it with Legion, that thing is too crazy PD wise.
For interceptors, I used Legions with only a single strike weapon equipped so that ship weapons weren't a factor at all, and then measured a few metrics:

 - which interceptor won the eventual replacement rate war and how much did low replacement rate effect the interceptors overall usefulness?
 - how effective was the interceptor when the wings first clash against the enemy interceptors? What were the initial losses on each side?
 - how effective was the interceptor at causing damage to the enemy Legion itself over time? Which Legion would win in the end and how much of that win was not the strike weapon?

For bombers and gunships, I used an Astrals, Herons (without damage boosting system), Moras and Condors to test lots of scenarios.

The enemies were typically warships of the same size. The target goal was that the warship can reduce the replacement rate eventually and close and kill the carrier. It should, however, take damage in the process of doing that. Hopefully, a fair amount of damage. But at least some.

My thinking behind that balance is that carriers are support ships and their wings do better when supporting another warship's engagement. This is because the enemy target will already have some flux built up and possibly some of its PD disabled or empty of ammunition if the warship has some missiles.

I'm not 100% convinced that this is the best carrier balance, but that was the target for this update and it seemed to mostly hold true. When I test the story for the lore update that will give me a much better idea of how all of this turned out because I will be playing a campaign instead of running a bunch of simulations.

Am having an issue where I receive a Fatal: null error. I am unsure of how to solve the issue and could not find a solution anywhere.
I'd need the log to really know more, but as Albreo said its probably just that you need to update to the latest version - especially if you are starting a fresh game. If you are trying to preserve a current save by staying on that version, the log will tell me if the bug is fixable or not.



Alright, teaser time!


Here is one of the Amaterasu-class battleship's variants in the TC version of Musashi and a few pics of it in action against an Onslaught. I decided to go ahead and change the weapons' size and make a couple of new ones/edits to existing ones and I'm now at the variant building stage.

Stats have had their initial pass, but that is still a WIP as I test variants. I haven't touched the fighters at all yet.

Spoiler







[close]
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Albreo

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Quote
My thinking behind that balance is that carriers are support ships and their wings do better when supporting another warship's engagement. This is because the enemy target will already have some flux built up and possibly some of its PD disabled or empty of ammunition if the warship has some missiles.

That's a bit harder to set up. Hmm.. maybe I should switch to a Legion with anything but anti-shield pebbles.

Quote
Alright, teaser time!

3,800 armor. Ain't that even thicker than Onslaught. Shield Flux Efficiency is so good as well.
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Morrokain

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3,800 armor. Ain't that even thicker than Onslaught. Shield Flux Efficiency is so good as well.
The Onslaught has 4000 and 4200 if you are flying the Hegemony version. The shield efficiency is relatively good, true, but the Onslaught has 5 large slots while the Amaterasu has 3 and less small slots but more medium slots... though more medium slots can target a single opponent when flying an Onslaught so this remains mostly irrelevant. They are the same deployment cost and FP value. Fighter bays and total OP are currently identical. The flux stats overall are definitely better for the Amaterasu atm though the defenses are definitively worse.

The Musashi ships as a whole have a feeder system which increases fire rate, but their weapons have good burst dps and low sustained dps on average in exchange for longer average range. This creates a trade-off where the system increases their strike capability while getting them closer to the low sustained point of dps where they are very vulnerable especially when outnumbered.
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6chad.noirlee9

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So far musashi looks great and true to the vanilla version!

Personally I really like the current state of fighters, if perhaps they need minute adjusting
I definitely agree with the sentiment that an attacking ship should have a rough time getting through them, and that the carrier should have some chance at winning (weaponry tradeoff for fighters should NOT mean it always loses a 1v1, just that the tactics are different: this is how everything feels currently really)
I'm not especially good at the minute changes thing, but I do think overall everything is in a very good place.
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edit: edit: maybe were just falling with style LOL.  make a bubble, make the space in front of it smaller and just fall forward

DatonKallandor

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I think a defensively specced carrier should be about the equivalent of a PD-specced warship. And you certainly shouldn't be able to just ignore both options if you're fighting an offensive carrier containing fleet. That leaves it open for people that don't want to use carriers at all or defensively to still get a strikecraft counter.

For Bomber wings, I'd personally treat them similar to regular missiles - if the PD net is intact, you're not going to do much with a bomber strike, but if you can hit when there's no cover and the PD is dead or EMPed, the bomber strike should mostly work. But it's likely the bomber AI and control is not up to taking that into account. Bomber balance is hard because of that.
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