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Author Topic: My thoughts and impressions  (Read 11523 times)

Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2018, 03:11:12 PM »

It's almost certainly not worth lugging around two onslaughts. Ask yourself how often you deploy both at once, and if so, whether or not you really needed to. Filling your fleet out with cruisers is much more fuel efficient. Standard eagles and falcons will hold their own just fine and add as much firepower.

Pretty often actually, have you seen the sheer immensity of enemy fleets in the endgame? They'll have more destroyers than I have ships in my whole (combat) fleet, and that's not counting their frigates, fighters, cruisers, and capitals. I'm not just talking about automated defense turkey shoots; this includes bounties as well. I quickly learned to max out the battle size slider, because the battle size limitation doesn't limit the enemy's massive deployment numbers at all, only whittles your own down, to almost nothing if need be.

As for why bigger rather than smaller, I'm trying to get the most use out of my limited number of officers. Yeah, sometimes I leave out an Onslaught, or an Onslaught and a carrier, or more if joining in an ongoing small battle or chasing stragglers, but during $400,000+ bounties you'd better believe I deploy everything and am quite relieved they're all present and accounted for.

Besides, even if my fuel use went from 144/day to 100/day (a reduction of almost 1/3), frankly it would still be an uphill battle and a huge grind to get enough fuel. It's just that 144/day is particularly steep and obnoxious.

(The fuel situation is indeed much improved in 0.9. For example, Jangala has about 2500 fuel for sale, between the Open, Black, and Military markets, and this is a reliable state of affairs, unless, say, its Spaceport got nuked or some such. Sindria has around 4000; smaller colonies will naturally have considerably less.)

That's hardly any more than it is now in Jangala, so I'm not sure how that fixes anything, aside from nerfing Sindria so that that's no longer a particularly attractive option for fuel-hungry players. Also, the black market is the black market. Forcing people to strip it of commodities just to be able to play in the endgame seems... well, again, I just don't understand why you don't let people have enough fuel to run large fleets without massive amounts of fuel grinding. You can still run large fleets, it just requires tedious grinding.

The real problem is that once a market is cleaned out, it doesn't recover or replenish for an extremely long time. Considering that these are entire colonized planets, I find it odd that they behave more like the last lonely gas station before a 150-mile stretch of desert highway, except the shady dude lurking around back by the public restrooms is selling most of the station's snacks and half the gas.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 03:14:16 PM by Blaine »
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2018, 07:01:17 PM »

Wait, did Jangala get a synclotron core? Or are they nerfed so that it doesn't really matter after all? Because that is what it sounds like to me
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intrinsic_parity

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2018, 07:01:30 PM »

I guess we just have differences in play style, but the only battles I've ever needed more than one capital ship for are the battle stations. Otherwise, cruisers hold up just fine and cost dramatically less.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2018, 07:21:03 PM »

I guess we just have differences in play style, but the only battles I've ever needed more than one capital ship for are the battle stations. Otherwise, cruisers hold up just fine and cost dramatically less.

Probably.

For testing purposes, I first waited a good long while for markets to refresh, then assembled a minimal tanker fleet and traveled around all of Hegemony space stripping every market on every planet and station of fuel (aside from a few that never have much if any for sale). It's nearly impossible to avoid or evade patrols with a Prometheus (mine even has Insulated Engines) and a decent escort along, unless you spend five minutes screwing around and hoping patrols wander a long way off, so I had to smash and grab and flee, or occasionally just give a patrol the middle finger.

All told, I'd say I profited about 4,000 fuel, give or take 500. It's hard to be precise, since I had to expend some along the way and wasn't being quite that meticulous, but that's about accurate.

I then reassembled my fleet, but parked one of my Onslaughts and all of my fuel ships, although I kept my cargo ships because it sucks to leave tons of stuff behind if a system happens to be full of metal. This brought my fuel/LY down to 105, which, especially since I have Navigation 3, I think is very reasonable for endgame.

I decided to pursue a fairly close-by bounty that was around $300k. When I arrived, the fleet outnumbered me significantly, and they had two (count 'em, not one but two) Onslaughts. Mind you, this is just a $300k bounty fleet. The $400k fleets are significantly stronger. Maybe the rest of you guys are geniuses at the game and can take down capital-heavy doomfleets with a handful of cruisers and destroyers, but that ain't me.

When I arrived back in Jangala, I was down 800-1000 net fuel, and they still had 0 fuel for sale, having not produced any more. So basically, short excursions even with a pared-down fleet and Navigation 3 cost me 1,000 fuel; long excursions end up costing 2,000 or more fuel, and remember, this is after parking my second Onslaught. That means that every 2-3 excursions I go on, I would therefore need to spend 20-45 minutes either scouring Hegemony space for every ounce of fuel, or else farming REDACTED for a similar amount of time, to recoup the fuel used on those excursions.

This isn't workable and I've decided that, for me, the best solution is to get the Console Commands mod, give myself fuel, and remove the appropriate number of credits from my total. I'm very comfortable with "judicious cheating" to improve but not ruin gameplay from running multiplayer game servers with friends over the years, so it won't kill the game for me.

When 0.9.0 releases, I'll look into creating a proper fuel mod. I know that fuel is there to stop players getting truly absolutely huge, massive killer fleets, but the balance is way off currently. Putting more than one capital ship in your fleet shouldn't break the economy, especially since enemy fleets also contain 2-3 capital ships and usually far more ships than your fleets besides.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 07:24:27 PM by Blaine »
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SafariJohn

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #34 on: November 01, 2018, 08:05:02 PM »

A little secret: you only need to kill the bounty's flagship to get the payout. If it's a front-shield ship just bring an Afflictor or Shade and assassinate it.

Phase ships, even the Shade, are so OP that you can easily use one to pick off a capital ship and some cruisers at the beginning of the battle. I've turned several impossible fights into easy wins that way.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #35 on: November 01, 2018, 08:18:28 PM »

Yeah, I know you only have to take out the bounty target, but it'd be a shame to leave the party early, don't you think? I actually enjoy the big fleet battles and like to see them through to the bitter end. Still, some of them always end up retreating and I generally let them go, which is how I know you don't have to destroy them all.

Phase ships, even the Shade, are so OP that you can easily use one to pick off a capital ship and some cruisers at the beginning of the battle. I've turned several impossible fights into easy wins that way.

Interesting. Yeah, I've heard that phase ships are OP in the player's hands. In the AI's hands, they do interesting and highly annoying (to the other side) things, but lose all their CR after what seems like five seconds and then have to be ordered to retreat.

I don't have a lot of practice doing that sort of thing with my fleet commander, and he doesn't have many combat skills, so I guess I'll have to do some research and practicing in the simulator. It seems incredible that they could chew off the massive armored hull pool of something like an Onslaught. Must be torpedoes, surely. I'll take any and all tips on phase ship trick flying and loadouts.
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Megas

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #36 on: November 01, 2018, 08:31:13 PM »

@ Blaine: Have you played Street Fighter II or other fighting games and/or familiar with the concept of invulnerability frames, such as Ryu timing a Dragon Punch (or Akuma timing Raging Demon) to pass through an incoming punch, kick, or fireball from the enemy and smack the enemy down for big damage?

The secret to (smaller) phase ships' power is they have invulnerability frames immediately after decloaking.  If the phase ship fires a big damage weapon with minimal or no windup, like antimatter blaster, the phase ship can decloak, fire, and if the enemy dies, the explosion will not harm the phase ship due to invulnerability frames.  If the enemy lives after the attack, hopefully the phase ship flees from attacker's shot range before invulnerability frames wear out.

AI is not aware of invulnerability frames and cannot abuse it like a player who is aware of them can.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #37 on: November 01, 2018, 08:52:52 PM »

@ Blaine: Have you played Street Fighter II or other fighting games and/or familiar with the concept of invulnerability frames, such as Ryu timing a Dragon Punch (or Akuma timing Raging Demon) to pass through an incoming punch, kick, or fireball from the enemy and smack the enemy down for big damage?

Yep! In fact, I have a Qanba Q4 arcade fightstick in my office closet that I pull out to play fighting games every once in a while. I'm familiar with the concept from many other games and franchises as well, like Dark Souls.

The secret to (smaller) phase ships' power is they have invulnerability frames immediately after decloaking.  If the phase ship fires a big damage weapon with minimal or no windup, like antimatter blaster, the phase ship can decloak, fire, and if the enemy dies, the explosion will not harm the phase ship due to invulnerability frames.  If the enemy lives after the attack, hopefully the phase ship flees from attacker's shot range before invulnerability frames wear out.

AI is not aware of invulnerability frames and cannot abuse it like a player who is aware of them can.

Oh, that makes perfect sense. I assumed that phase ships would become vulnerable the same moment they were able to fire. That's a pretty big tip, thanks.
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Megas

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2018, 08:57:17 PM »

Decloak invulnerability frames are not very obvious in Starsector.  If not exploited, phase ships are... awkward and overpriced for their cost, except Afflictor with Quantum Disruptor.  With invulnerability frames, Shade and Afflictor are unholy terrors.
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Alex

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #39 on: November 01, 2018, 09:01:55 PM »

I quickly learned to max out the battle size slider, because the battle size limitation doesn't limit the enemy's massive deployment numbers at all, only whittles your own down, to almost nothing if need be.

The battle size is split between both sides, with the larger side getting more points. At worst it'd be a 60% to 40% split.


The real problem is that once a market is cleaned out, it doesn't recover or replenish for an extremely long time. Considering that these are entire colonized planets, I find it odd that they behave more like the last lonely gas station before a 150-mile stretch of desert highway, except the shady dude lurking around back by the public restrooms is selling most of the station's snacks and half the gas.

It takes about a month to restock w/ the new economy. I'd imagine you'd be able to get more fuel going at your own colonies, but I'm still in the process of testing that out.

I just don't understand why you don't let people have enough fuel to run large fleets without massive amounts of fuel grinding. You can still run large fleets, it just requires tedious grinding.

You've beaten the undamaged REDACTED station, yes? If so, you're past the endgame of 0.8 in that run, so stuff is bound to get wonky.

Beyond that, I think fuel availability should be a consideration when building a fleet. If you can just buy any amount of fuel you like, I do think that makes things less interesting. If you're having trouble keeping up with the fuel demands of your fleet, it's simply too large for what you're doing. For example, if you stick to the core worlds, your fuel requirements are lower, and a larger fleet is more viable. Exploring uncharted system changes that equation drastically, and so on.

As for grinding - I'm not sure *why* you'd really do it. That you're able to do it this way is more of an unintended consequence of some mechanics and I imagine I'll deal with it at some point. In the meantime, alright, I get that you want to keep your large fleet going, but if you need to grind to keep it going, what are the goals you need to accomplish with said fleet, aside from the grinding? Since you're already at/past the endgame, there probably aren't many. But if there are, there are also other ways of accomplishing them.


Wait, did Jangala get a synclotron core? Or are they nerfed so that it doesn't really matter after all? Because that is what it sounds like to me

No, it just has a demand for fuel that's actually filled, so there's a bunch for sale. Fuel at Sindria (and other suppliers) is somewhat cheaper.



(Phase ships are also totally great without using that; just not completely insane. I may end up fixing this - since it *is* a bug - at some point after all.)
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SafariJohn

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #40 on: November 01, 2018, 09:06:36 PM »

I used Reapers and Antimatter Blasters, naturally, but I never used the invincibility frames.

edit: reworded
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 09:08:56 PM by SafariJohn »
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #41 on: November 01, 2018, 09:13:29 PM »

As for grinding - I'm not sure *why* you'd really do it. That you're able to do it this way is more of an unintended consequence of some mechanics and I imagine I'll deal with it at some point. In the meantime, alright, I get that you want to keep your large fleet going, but if you need to grind to keep it going, what are the goals you need to accomplish with said fleet, aside from the grinding? Since you're already at/past the endgame, there probably aren't many. But if there are, there are also other ways of accomplishing them.

You're right, there's not much left to do but fight more large-scale battles (and try out different fleet outfit compositions), but that's a fun thing to do in and of itself. Heck, fleet battles are 3/4 of the draw of Starsector. Why stop fighting just because I've reached the end of the scaling mechanic? Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to starting over from scratch as well.

Having said all that I've said in this thread, it's understandable that things can break at the extreme and at the endgame, especially when the game isn't finished yet. Still, it's obvious that the decision to keep fuel fairly limited was deliberate; and that limitation only becomes an issue at the endgame. I guess what I'm saying is that I figure you designed fuel scarcity with the endgame specifically in mind.

Of course there's a new version coming with a reworked economy that no one's gotten to try, and you've said you've balanced fuel production a bit. Plus, presumably player colonies will be able to produce fuel. This might not be an issue anymore once the game updates.
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Alex

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #42 on: November 01, 2018, 09:25:40 PM »

Having said all that I've said in this thread, it's understandable that things can break at the extreme and at the endgame, especially when the game isn't finished yet. Still, it's obvious that the decision to keep fuel fairly limited was deliberate; and that limitation only becomes an issue at the endgame. I guess what I'm saying is that I figure you designed fuel scarcity with the endgame specifically in mind.

If we're being honest, it's more of an "I didn't really look too hard at balancing it past that point" :) As you note, colonies and such hook up to the game in ways the impact this a lot, so what you're really seeing here is a rough edge due to major mechanical pieces not being in place.

That's not to say that running a 150 fuel/day fleet would necessarily be viable, but rather that you should be able to accomplish what you need to on the fuel budget that *would* be available. But 0.8a kind of lends itself to wanting to scale up the fleet as much as possible just because that's about all there is to it as far as goals, so, yeah, I do see where you're coming from.
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Thaago

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #43 on: November 01, 2018, 09:52:22 PM »

Another hint: if you pilot the Onslaught yourself those enemy fleets suddenly become a looot easier. It may not seem like much, but aggressive flux management and good burn drive timing make a world of difference.
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Blaine

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Re: My thoughts and impressions
« Reply #44 on: November 01, 2018, 10:11:54 PM »

If we're being honest, it's more of an "I didn't really look too hard at balancing it past that point" :) As you note, colonies and such hook up to the game in ways the impact this a lot, so what you're really seeing here is a rough edge due to major mechanical pieces not being in place.

That's not to say that running a 150 fuel/day fleet would necessarily be viable, but rather that you should be able to accomplish what you need to on the fuel budget that *would* be available. But 0.8a kind of lends itself to wanting to scale up the fleet as much as possible just because that's about all there is to it as far as goals, so, yeah, I do see where you're coming from.

Fair enough, makes sense to me. Besides, there are mods that can alleviate the issue in a way I feel will work for me, so it's not as though it's a showstopper.

Another hint: if you pilot the Onslaught yourself those enemy fleets suddenly become a looot easier. It may not seem like much, but aggressive flux management and good burn drive timing make a world of difference.

Yeah, I suppose you're right. Even with fairly minimal combat skills (easier to show than tell):

Spoiler
[close]

...In a single Eagle XIV I can hold an entire flank of the enemy fleet at bay by myself, although with the way I fly, I sometimes push too hard trying to secure a kill (so close!) and then take a beating for it when the frigates and destroyers decide to get a little bit braver.

I actually enjoy the hang-back AI behavior, which I've seen many people complaining about, a lot more than some people seem to. On the other hand, I have a carrier-heavy fleet, so while the AI hangs back they're getting chewed on by space fleas. Even their Onslaughts (and mine) will hang back for some inconceivable reason, so you're right, it's probably time for me to take charge of the big boy personally.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2018, 10:14:57 PM by Blaine »
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