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Author Topic: [0.95a] Kingdom of Terra (v0.13.1) - Taverns in Caverns (+Hotfix)  (Read 154119 times)

Takion Kasukedo

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kingdom of Terra (v0.4.1) - This one's Monster
« Reply #60 on: December 06, 2019, 09:38:45 AM »

Download didn't give the correct one the first 3 times I think, as i'd usually look in the hulls or graphics folder usually to see if I got the right version. Can confirm I have the latest one now.
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Y'know, Mojito's are pretty rad.

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Sinosauropteryx

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kingdom of Terra (v0.5) - Operation Overhull, phase 1
« Reply #61 on: December 23, 2019, 01:44:38 PM »

Operation Overhull is underway!

This means I have removed my ugliest sprites from early in the faction's life. The ships themselves are still in the files, but have been removed from fleets, markets, and the codex.

Over the next little while, I will attempt to bash up some more acceptable artwork, with a goal of more closely matching vanilla Starsector's aesthetic.

The first offering: Quetzalcoatl.


Additionally, this update introduces the Ouroboros, a unique dreadnought that gives Quetzalcoatl pilots tail envy.
Get it in a unique Vayra's Sector bounty, or if you're a cheater like me, start with the Super Ship in Nexerelin.
Long ship is long
[close]

Finally, for those playing with Commissioned Crews, pack on some holiday pounds with Terran Density, the Kingdom commission hullmod that increases mass in battle to a whopping 180% of normal.

Get it all in VERSION 0.5, out now!
Merry Christmas!
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theville

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kingdom of Terra (v0.5) - Operation Overhull, phase 1
« Reply #62 on: December 25, 2019, 04:31:09 AM »

if you ask me its should be legit! you don't know what kind of weird things out their in vast space!   ::) ::)
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Sinosauropteryx

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Re: [0.9.1a] Kingdom of Terra (v0.5) - Operation Overhull, phase 1
« Reply #63 on: December 26, 2019, 10:21:00 PM »

if you ask me its should be legit! you don't know what kind of weird things out their in vast space!   ::) ::)
I think it's more likely than animu girls ;)
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Sinosauropteryx

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Version 0.6 is out!

A load of changes this time. A new ship, a returning (and re-sprited) ship, a piratical reskin of a ship, and a wing of small wooden(!?) ships.



Also: Cavemen and caveladies, with neanderthal portraits and tribal names, driving prehistorically-named vessels, and speaking cave-speak.

Also: A new flag, a new planet, access to fuel (thanks to the guy on Discord who brought this up!), new starting options, new tips, and small aesthetic goodies everywhere.



Also, under the hood: New and improved AI for melee ships. And a buffed system for the Smasher, if you're like me and enjoy some early game frigate fracas.

Enjoy! Happy new year!
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Nym

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Wow! When I first saw the earlier stages, I honestly thought it was going to wither away and disappear like the older mods...

But looking at this now?

It's Amazing!

You guys were serious about making this mod GREAT!

Hopefully you guys and gals will show the rest of the Post Domain how Great Old Terra used to be and why they were once the Super Power that started most of it all before the fall of the Gates!
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My Ancestors were Toasters.

Sinosauropteryx

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Thanks a lot for saying so! Yeah, I thought I would have fizzled out by this point too. Hahah. But it's really people like you who have kept me going. Knowing the mod is appreciated is like rocket fuel for the creative engines.

And just to be clear, it's a one-man operation on this end :) Not to discount the helpful modding community, of course.

Terra's true legacy will be realized, in time!
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Agalyon

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Just wanted to drop in and say that this is probably the coolest mod that has come out in a long time. I've been playing since the first mods were released, and I really love that you've made ships that are truly unique. Strange and perhaps unrealistic they may be, the ascetic and scripted sections are show stoppers. I've been hoping for something like the Quetzelcoatl a long time, and its great to see it alive and well. I actually think the Basilisk might actually be my favorite though, the tail is simple but perfect.

I haven't extensively tested everything very well, but there's a few things I'd like to bring up. The Snaggletooth and the Queen feel like they could use a bit of help. They're both extremely fragile, and don't really have enough to justify it imo. The queen in particular has devastatingly low hull, which I'm sure is the intention, but I think it probably needs nearly 360 shields that are maybe a bit tougher to do with that. Also I think the nest bomb could do with regenerating some ammo very slowly as a reward for actually keeping the Queen alive that long. I think the Snaggletooth's missiles could do a bit more damage or reload a bit faster as well.

The Basilisk tail impacts just a bit too hard, as lighter ships totally spin out of the control when hit, and only the heaviest of cruisers can typically maintain their position vaguely, if its only a glancing blow. Its easily able to spin an Onslaught several times off one hit. I've thought about this a lot, and I'm not sure how much of it is more about poor thruster control on ships rather than mass of the Basilisk, as it seems like faster cruisers fare better than capitals. That being said, its far too easy to get a ship spinning and keep it spinning forever. I think it should be somewhere in the range of a good hit knocking lighter cruisers 180 or more degrees around, heavier not quite as much, and knocking capitals face away from you. It would still be an amazing defensive tool for front loaded ships, but not comical like it is now. Also, the Basilisk AI tends to be unwilling to close in and USE the tail in most cases, preferring to launch the barbs for harassment and stay at a distance. Maybe if the barbs could be individually made into a strike weapon, so the AI would use the tail but HOLD the barbs until an opportune moment. I know a lot of that is extremely finicky, and I'm sure doing much about it beyond fiddling with numbers would be very difficult, but keep up the good work.

The Quetzalcoatl also tends to go one of two ways. Either the head gets quickly sniped and it dies fruitlessly, or it uses the ship system to devastating effect, mostly ending fights before they start. The ship system is a serious problem I think. Harpoons alone are able to overload the shields of most capitals, and this is not counting the sabots that are also in most loadouts. If the sabots land first, its usually an instakill. What I personally would really like to see is the head being much tougher, and the ship overall doing much less damage, or at least less burst. Typically its very hard to actually level its firepower against a single target because of the rapid movement, but that sort of fits into its role I think. Maybe the system could fire only a single missile from each rack (still for free) but keep a reasonably low cooldown. Part of me worries even that might still be too much, but its really hard to say without more testing. That aside, I think the segments are good. they tend to stay alive with the tightly packed narrow shields taking most of the damage, which I like. I would really like to see maybe an alternate version that relies only on weapons rather than missiles, maybe another custom bounty?

For these reasons, Terra also tends to completely wreck face in AI vs AI fleets. I THINK this is mostly the aforementioned missile storm, but the AI doesn't know what to do with Basilisks very well either. This is a minor complaint, I think its more of a symptom than a problem.

Lastly, this is seriously into the nitpicky area, but I think the front mount on the Quetzalcoatl should be concealed, or maybe back into the head some so it can have a meaner looking nose. Seeing the missile hardpoint is a huge let down any time its not covered by a weapon, especially compared to the tail segment which is great.

That all probably looks more negative than I intend it too, so I want to reiterate that I love this mod, and I wish there were more like it. Maybe one day you could have actual space monsters to beat the crap out of with Monsters and Basilisks. Either way, I eagerly await any updates you make!
« Last Edit: January 06, 2020, 05:24:15 PM by HeartofDiscord »
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Sinosauropteryx

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Just wanted to drop in and say that this is probably the coolest mod that has come out in a long time. I've been playing since the first mods were released, and I really love that you've made ships that are truly unique. Strange and perhaps unrealistic they may be, the ascetic and scripted sections are show stoppers. I've been hoping for something like the Quetzelcoatl a long time, and its great to see it alive and well. I actually think the Basilisk might actually be my favorite though, the tail is simple but perfect.
I really appreciate it :) And even more so I appreciate this criticism. It's super valuable to get someone else's perspective on this stuff and you're the first to give a comprehensive balance check and breakdown. So, kudos! Now let's dive in...

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I haven't extensively tested everything very well, but there's a few things I'd like to bring up. The Snaggletooth and the Queen feel like they could use a bit of help. They're both extremely fragile, and don't really have enough to justify it imo. The queen in particular has devastatingly low hull, which I'm sure is the intention, but I think it probably needs nearly 360 shields that are maybe a bit tougher to do with that. Also I think the nest bomb could do with regenerating some ammo very slowly as a reward for actually keeping the Queen alive that long. I think the Snaggletooth's missiles could do a bit more damage or reload a bit faster as well.
You're clearly right about the Queen - in the past patch, I removed it as a starting option, and lowered its cost, both because I saw it underperform. But there's still something missing and I'm not satisfied with it. I think your ideas are great, particularly a 360 shield, with some more flux capacity to give it a bit of play in hairy situations. Just enough for a human or AI to react, cause right now it gets snuffed out from full hull in a split second with no leeway. And the nest bomb being a generative-over-time effect is a cool concept; a design problem I've been having with the Queen (as a player vessel in partic.) is it's too one-note. It's not rewarding to play. But making the bomb slowly build up additional drones until you release it, and then allow you to start growing more, would add a whole new layer of play and is thematic to boot. So, I will probably do both those things :)

The Snaggletooth. Truth be told, the ship is supposed to be weak - kind of a hound-plus in a way. A fodder ship. But what you're saying rings true as well. I've been underwhelmed by the Carcharos in general, both on the Snag and in weapon form. So I will probably kick it up to 100 kinetic per missile or something. And then perhaps I can also lower the Snag's DP cost or increase its logistics stats in some way. The ship was on the short list for a graphical rework anyway.

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The Basilisk tail impacts just a bit too hard, as lighter ships totally spin out of the control when hit, and only the heaviest of cruisers can typically maintain their position vaguely, if its only a glancing blow. Its easily able to spin an Onslaught several times off one hit. I've thought about this a lot, and I'm not sure how much of it is more about poor thruster control on ships rather than mass of the Basilisk, as it seems like faster cruisers fare better than capitals. That being said, its far too easy to get a ship spinning and keep it spinning forever. I think it should be somewhere in the range of a good hit knocking lighter cruisers 180 or more degrees around, heavier not quite as much, and knocking capitals face away from you. It would still be an amazing defensive tool for front loaded ships, but not comical like it is now.
I'll see what I can do, there are a lot of knobs to play with. I'm glad you identified this as a problem, my initial worry was that the tail strike would be too anemic given the risk involved in landing it. But maybe I overbalanced in the other direction.

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Also, the Basilisk AI tends to be unwilling to close in and USE the tail in most cases, preferring to launch the barbs for harassment and stay at a distance. Maybe if the barbs could be individually made into a strike weapon, so the AI would use the tail but HOLD the barbs until an opportune moment. I know a lot of that is extremely finicky, and I'm sure doing much about it beyond fiddling with numbers would be very difficult, but keep up the good work.
I'm in the process of improving the AI of all the melee ships. The Basilisk was less of a concern than the Monster for example, because it did have a good ranged game too, but it's true the AI doesn't bring it near its potential. Right now the spikes are on a very simple "fire if you got em" trigger which can definitely be more sophisticated. I'll put this one on the list for future development.

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The Quetzalcoatl also tends to go one of two ways. Either the head gets quickly sniped and it dies fruitlessly, or it uses the ship system to devastating effect, mostly ending fights before they start. The ship system is a serious problem I think. Harpoons alone are able to overload the shields of most capitals, and this is not counting the sabots that are also in most loadouts. If the sabots land first, its usually an instakill. What I personally would really like to see is the head being much tougher, and the ship overall doing much less damage, or at least less burst. Typically its very hard to actually level its firepower against a single target because of the rapid movement, but that sort of fits into its role I think. Maybe the system could fire only a single missile from each rack (still for free) but keep a reasonably low cooldown. Part of me worries even that might still be too much, but its really hard to say without more testing. That aside, I think the segments are good. they tend to stay alive with the tightly packed narrow shields taking most of the damage, which I like. I would really like to see maybe an alternate version that relies only on weapons rather than missiles, maybe another custom bounty?
I'll admit, the system was a lazy solution to begin with. I already toned it down a couple updates ago, but what I really need is a new, more interesting system, ideally, one that plays with the unique movement of the Quetz. So I probably won't mess with the system too much until I can come up with a replacement altogether, but it is within my notice for sure.

The reason for so many missiles is the difficulty of aiming anything from its body that doesn't have an obscenely big firing arc. And there is only so much room on each segment to put wide-angle turrets; hardpoints are easier to squeeze in. But maybe I could make an exception to the stiff hardpoint convention. Swiveling hardpoints/side-mounted turrets? Why not? Would it even solve the problem? I'll consider & test some stuff :)

And the head - too weak? I can certainly bulk it up a bit. (Honestly though, in all my testing it was the second "neck" segment and not the head that got sniped first most times. With the exception being vs Paragons and other heavy beam play.)

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For these reasons, Terra also tends to completely wreck face in AI vs AI fleets. I THINK this is mostly the aforementioned missile storm, but the AI doesn't know what to do with Basilisks very well either. This is a minor complaint, I think its more of a symptom than a problem.
In your opinion, is the missile storm oppressive enough in these situations to warrant a stopgap measure? I play on very small battle sizes for lack of hardware, so you must know more about large-scale fleet vs fleet than I do.

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Lastly, this is seriously into the nitpicky area, but I think the front mount on the Quetzalcoatl should be concealed, or maybe back into the head some so it can have a meaner looking nose. Seeing the missile hardpoint is a huge let down any time its not covered by a weapon, especially compared to the tail segment which is great.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean. is the hardpoint too far forward? Is the metal part too wide that it doesn't get covered up by the sprite?

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That all probably looks more negative than I intend it too, so I want to reiterate that I love this mod, and I wish there were more like it. Maybe one day you could have actual space monsters to beat the crap out of with Monsters and Basilisks. Either way, I eagerly await any updates you make!
I want to reiterate how great it is to hear this stuff! Thanks again :)
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Agalyon

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...
I want to reiterate how great it is to hear this stuff! Thanks again :)

I'm happy to hear it! I definitely understand testing on small battle sizes, I only recently got a computer that can handle it (and its broken in a way that's essentially impossible to diagnose, so, we'll see if I even get to keep it). I haven't tested the Quetzal enough to say on a large scale, a lot of the testing I did was also on a small scale. I will say in my Nex game, Terra quickly and easily wiped Heg out of Oasis, won every fight I observed, and has never been threatened since. When I PERSONALLY fought the Quetzal, I either lost or sniped the head pretty much every time. In group fights, it does seem to just get attritioned to death by shots slipping through shields. That being said, actually getting close enough to pop segments did a decent enough job as well.

I think the dream scenario would be to have broken segments hang around no-clipped or something so the lower segments don't break when an upper one breaks, if that makes sense. I don't think anything like that has been done before though, so I'm not sure how realistic it is to implement. I think the center of battlestations is similar, in that it sticks around till all the other parts are dead. It would also totally change how fighting the thing works, so its your call. I'm going to buy one and just start using it naturally in my game and see how it goes. Its probably just really really hard to balance well because its so unique; some of these problems are just the nature of being light and speedy, but on the other hand no other ship in the game permanently loses dps as it takes damage.

I really think if missile storm is reigned in, you should make the whole thing much, much tankier and just see how it works out. Wider shields, a pinch more armor, that sort of thing. I think that uniquely the segments could have terrible shields and it would be fine if they were a bit wider, encouraging trying to slip shots through gaps created in the shield wall. As for giant fights, if multiple Quetzals are deployed and use the storm together, pretty much everything without a fortress shield dies. It sort of negates any of its weaknesses.

Is it bad enough to need a stopgap? Possibly yeah. This is kinda the opposite of what you're asking for, but let me mess with it a little more and see how it is with only one Quetzal. I cant escape the thought that the whole faction is pretty close range, and simply running from the missiles works, and thus maybe its punishment for getting too close. On the other hand, it can one shot capitals. I hate the idea that its a one hit wonder though, killing a big ship or too then dying. While I definitely think it needs to change, beyond what I suggested earlier I cant think of an easy replacement so it doesn't feel right asking for one.

The sprite thing is really nitpicky, I just don't like the look of the large mount. It breaks the look of head, and I know theres a way to make the weapon be invisible when mounted so it could be in a thematic "mouth" of sorts, and you only end up seeing the head itself with no weapon mount. At least that was my idea. I really like the look of the tail segment, I think it would be really pretty to use some of the same aspects.

I'm actually glad you went in the direction of overtuning to start so the unique aspects didn't end up getting lost. Really the Quetzal is the ONLY thing that stood out as having serious issues, everything else is pretty solid. In my opinion, its biggest problem is the whole ship is far too brittle in implementation. Successes are devastating, but any mistake usually results in death. I definitely don't want to go in the direction of mod police and only balance against perfectly standard vanilla, so if you WANTED it to function like that and break the mold take everything I say with a grain of salt.
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Sinosauropteryx

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Alright - this is very instructive. You've identified two main problems with the Quetzal (overpowered one-shot offensive system + general lack of staying power) and there's a single solution that could broadly handle both problems. Namely, a more defensive system of some kind. So, now I have a clear direction to go in.

I'm not sure about keeping destroyed segments attached, if it's even possible (though it probably is) and if it leads to desirable gameplay. But there is another thing that might mitigate the same problem, which is tapering the armor/hull down the segments. So the neck would have for example +100% more survivability and the tail 50% less, with a gradient in between. That way it still rewards sniping higher-up segments, without making them big glowing weak points, and more often it will lose segments one-by-one instead of a big chunk of 7. (It's a lot easier of a fix too.) I'll play around with that a bit.

I'll see what I can do about the head sprite, I think I understand what you mean - and there are potential solutions that won't break anything, like decorative weapons partially covering the nose weapon. But it is low priority cause a ton of my older sprites are way worse. :)

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I will say in my Nex game, Terra quickly and easily wiped Heg out of Oasis, won every fight I observed, and has never been threatened since.
This part, though, I'm wondering about. You're talking about auto-resolved fleet-vs-fleet battles in the overworld, not ones you participated in, right? Did they tend to win through greater numbers, or in fights of evenly sized fleets? Because there's two things at play here:
- The power of Neoterra's industry, which is a size 9 planet. If the Hedgies are getting overwhelmed with numbers I might have to tone it down a bit, but I don't think it's as big a deal, since industry and numbers were the intent.
- If, however, they are simply winning all evenly-sized fights, it means the fleet point values for the ships are off base.
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Agalyon

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So the neck would have for example +100% more survivability and the tail 50% less, with a gradient in between. That way it still rewards sniping higher-up segments, without making them big glowing weak points, and more often it will lose segments one-by-one instead of a big chunk of 7.

This sounds really solid, I like it.

- The power of Neoterra's industry, which is a size 9 planet. If the Hedgies are getting overwhelmed with numbers I might have to tone it down a bit, but I don't think it's as big a deal, since industry and numbers were the intent.
- If, however, they are simply winning all evenly-sized fights, it means the fleet point values for the ships are off base.

I'm not confident saying for sure. Probably best to just leave it alone unless more people notice something, its definitely hard to test. And yeah I meant auto-resolved world battles.

Don't worry too much about the head sprite. Your spritework in general is great, they're a wonderful semblance of bestial traits made mechanical. Keep up the good work!
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Takion Kasukedo

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I'd like to pitch in about Quetzalcoatl balancing and say that with the 'Coatl, maybe the system could be some sort of 'EMP Coil' technique, where the ship curls up, and sequentially activates it's thrusters to throw itself in the direction of an enemy, using the velocity of the thrusters to steer (maybe) while shocking the enemy. Considering that a coiled Quetzalcoatl can already move faster than some frigates (Omen included), I think this may be an apt system for the 'Coatl.

Or you could just give it an EMP version of Damper Field and call it a day, which i'm unsure if anyone would be pleased about.
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Y'know, Mojito's are pretty rad.

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Sinosauropteryx

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I'd like to pitch in about Quetzalcoatl balancing and say that with the 'Coatl, maybe the system could be some sort of 'EMP Coil' technique, where the ship curls up, and sequentially activates it's thrusters to throw itself in the direction of an enemy, using the velocity of the thrusters to steer (maybe) while shocking the enemy. Considering that a coiled Quetzalcoatl can already move faster than some frigates (Omen included), I think this may be an apt system for the 'Coatl.
I do like that this way of moving exists as a "bonus" alternate movement option for the astute player. But I'm not sure it would work aesthetically or mechanically as a regular part of its movement, esp. in AI hands.
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theville

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I'd like to pitch in about Quetzalcoatl balancing and say that with the 'Coatl, maybe the system could be some sort of 'EMP Coil' technique, where the ship curls up, and sequentially activates it's thrusters to throw itself in the direction of an enemy, using the velocity of the thrusters to steer (maybe) while shocking the enemy. Considering that a coiled Quetzalcoatl can already move faster than some frigates (Omen included), I think this may be an apt system for the 'Coatl.
I do like that this way of moving exists as a "bonus" alternate movement option for the astute player. But I'm not sure it would work aesthetically or mechanically as a regular part of its movement, esp. in AI hands.

Or make a way for the Quetzalcoat to...dissamble itself. then those parts will act as a separate entity or ships for a while before combining again...well along those lines lol
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