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Starsector 0.95a is out! (03/26/21); Blog post: Skill Changes, Part 2 (07/15/21)

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Author Topic: Planing a mod, looking for some advice. Need some extra brains for brainstorming  (Read 1390 times)

Tecrys

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Initial idea: It's going to be a faction mod about the so called Freitag Corporation that specializes in maintenance, salvage and orbital operations. I was thinking like bounty hunters but for those things I mentioned above.
Corporation motto and mod prefix: OMM standing for "Orbital Manipulation and Maintenance"

Most of the ships will have civilian hull and very few weapon slots but I am planning on letting them rely on modular drones on which  one weapon mount each is located.

This is the basic jist of it.
Now, where I need advice and ideas: I am looking for reasons to take them into battle that fits the above mentioned role of those ships (keep in mind their slogan OMM)
What ideas I got so far:
- a beam weapon or a ship system that takes away flux from an ally
- anti fighter support with fragmentation weapons
- some kind of healing beam (has been tried before in other mods, finicky and tough to balance)
- an aura or drones that speed up weapon/engine repair on allied ships

Please forgive the crude formatting, I'm writing this on my mobile since I don't have access to my PC for some weeks
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 03:13:52 PM by Tecrys »
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Luuiscool4567

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Sounds quite support heavy. Most of vanilla Starsector is focused around the abilities of a single ship to push the fight rather than broad support. I.e. like Burn drives. The closest thing to support is carriers but even they have abilities limited to themselves. Not sure if this could be balanced well compared to other mods.
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Tecrys

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Balance is a second thought at the moment but you might be on to something with that carrier idea. Well most of them will have the drone weapon platforms built in (weapons will be customizable on these) so most ships basically are already intended as kind of carriers

Edit: and yes, support is the main idea here

Something that just came to me: support fighters able to escort ally ships without weapons but rather good flux stats and a wide shield arc
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 01:41:07 PM by Tecrys »
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Sutopia

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Balance is a second thought at the moment but you might be on to something with that carrier idea. Well most of them will have the drone weapon platforms built in (weapons will be customizable on these) so most ships basically are already intended as kind of carriers

Edit: and yes, support is the main idea here

Something that just came to me: support fighters able to escort ally ships without weapons but rather good flux stats and a wide shield arc

I thought that’s the exact reason Xyphos wing got nerfed?
You can stack unlimited support wings to one ship until it’s firepower becomes a death star.

Tecrys

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I thought that%u2019s the exact reason Xyphos wing got nerfed?
You can stack unlimited support wings to one ship until it%u2019s firepower becomes a death star.
Good point! I could limit potential abuse by making it a built in wing on a specialized ship.
But still, balance comes later.
I'd like some ideas please.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 02:21:45 PM by Tecrys »
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Sutopia

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Liquid armor which auto balances armor grids

Drones that doesn’t have any weapon but blocks bullets

Coordinated targeting that prevents installing standard targeting unit but accumulates and applies bonus to all ships with such hullmod

A gun that shoots asteroids instead of bullets

A ship system similar to Doom but spams asteroids instead

Healing drones that transfers their own hull to friendly ships (and dies when hull depleted)

WeiTuLo

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Liquid armor which auto balances armor grids


This is beautiful!
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KDR_11k

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How about a battlefield tug that helps slower ships get to the fight? A fighter drone with a fortress shield that just hovers in front of the enemy, blocking their lines of fire?

There are some support ships across the various mods already, e.g. the Shadowyards frigate with the TAG system to amplify damage against a specific target, the Diable ECM destroyer that jams all missile guidance near it, the SCY destroyer with a "get over here" teleport shot, the ORA frigate that "steals" the mobility of nearby enemies or just the funny P9 gel frigate with rapidly regenerating armor and a ship system that makes it go BOING and bounce into enemies.

Generally I'm not sure how well such support ships work in practice, they're of course terrible combatants for their DP so it's all about the value of that support function and it's often rather limited. I find that they often get killed first anyway because of that combat weakness.
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Wyvern

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Well, I know one other mod (Dassault-Mikoyan Engineering - not yet updated for 0.95) has a couple of logistical ships that come with up-scaled versions of the Nav Relay hullmod; those are situationally useful as long as you don't have the coordinated maneuvers skill, despite having no offensive weaponry.

The other notion I'd suggest is also inspired by an existing mod (though I don't recall which one, as it's not one I play with): making more interesting use of capture points. For example, a construction ship that, when assigned to defend a capture node you control, starts printing out a mini-starbase on the node. (The mod I'm thinking of here instead adds new node types that do things like summon reinforcements, but for what you describe, a construction ship that works with existing node types sounds like a better fit.)
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Wyvern is 100% correct about the math.

Tecrys

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Great ideas so far! Really helps me out a lot.
In particular the bullet catching drones (both ones mentioned by Sutopia and KDR_11K), balancing armor (might be something else then liquid) and constructing defenses at capture nodes sound really cool.

Now to spice things up a bit I will present you with the visual identity of the faction with art that I'm allowed to use with kind permission by the artist Till Freitag: https://www.artstation.com/imrahil

So far I made the 3rd to 11th artwork from the top into sprites.
Seeing the ships might spark some new ideas.
Thank you very much for your contributions so far!

Edit: something else very much worth mentioning, the Freitag Corporation might not actually become a "real" faction but instead part of the independent faction in order to emphasize on their mercenary role. I'm unsure of this as of yet
« Last Edit: May 28, 2021, 11:35:53 PM by Tecrys »
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Luftwaffel

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>a ship system that takes away flux from an ally
Is it just me or does this sound like a reverse-aerial-refuel?
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/dd/KC-135_refuels_an_F-16_Fighting_Falcon.jpg/1280px-KC-135_refuels_an_F-16_Fighting_Falcon.jpg

A physically attached hose of sorts could take away waste heat (aka flux) from a ship to be vented by the supporting ship. Might be annoying to code in a (flexing?!) hose though.

>some kind of healing beam (has been tried before in other mods, finicky and tough to balance)
I don't like space magic stuff, drones would be better imo. Either that, or this "healing beam" could just be sealing foam of sorts, repairing hull damage but reducing speed and turret rotation. Enough to keep the ship in the fight a bit longer/let it safely reteat, but not much more.


Overall I like the "support ships" niche a lot.
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Ad Astra

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Has the idea of "space artillery" ever been tried? Like a space station that you deploy in the battlefield and can't move, but instead of a big thing with lots of weapons, it's just a BFG (Big *** Gun) that supports your ships in a large range. Could be used as a way to put an entire area of the battle map in your control, adding some interesting defense strategies (no idea how would the AI react to it though)
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You can park your spaceship anywhere you want if you get along with pirates

Tecrys

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Here's my first concept/ship description how it would appear in game:

The Shrimp is a mobile welding tool the size of a frigate able to fuse ship and station parts in order to repair them or to combine salvage and debris into large chunks.
Those chunks can be moved much more easily by tugs or other ships then all of their parts individually. In order to do that it collects hydrogen plasma with the help of the Shrimp's EM field manipulation legs.
Not entirely by coincidence can these be used to hurl balls of plasma at enemies if need be with similar effects to a conventional plasma cannon, albeit with much less frequency and efficiency.

Because of it's intended field of application the Shrimp needs to be very mobile in order to navigate dense debris fields and is therefore equipped with plasma jets. While welding the ship has to hover without much motion for extended periods of time and is unable to evade incoming debris or ship and station parts. The Freitag Corporation thought of this problem while designing the ship and came to a rather simple solution: a small accompanying drone with a rather efficient shield able to deflect such debris.
In combat situations this drone can be used effectively to add additional protection to the Shrimp or other more vulnerable ships.

Simple and efficient solutions are the corporation's mainstay and the Shrimp is a perfect example for that.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2021, 07:26:14 AM by Tecrys »
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Tecrys

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I'm on a run today! Here comes another one:

Debris fields after battles or accidents are the lifeblood of countless salvage fleets in the sector of which some employ the Freitag Corporation to assist in harvesting precious technology, metals and in rare cases even the odd AI core. Seldom are these drifting graveyards safe from other salvagers or pirates.

This is where the Sand Hopper comes into play, one of the few military grade ships of the Corporation. With a clear defense mission in mind it is able to carry stationary defensive platforms armed to the teeth into battle. These are then stationed at strategic points to defend valuable salvage long enough to be exploited by salvage rigs or similar ships.

Not even it's main armament is located on the Sand Hopper itself but instead carried by modular weapon drones. After deployment of the defense platform the ship acts as a fast, light destroyer able to weave in and out of combat range. Since the Sand Hopper is armored rather lightly the Freitag Corporation equipped it with a very special form of damper field which is also the reason for it's name. While active the ship makes a huge leap forward and it can use that to catapult itself over other ships.
Unfortunately the system needs quite a bit of time to cycle it's capacitors until it can be used again. More often then not the system is used in emergency situations to quickly flee from battle and leave all defenses behind. For most of the Sand Hopper's employers salvage is all that counts and so this light destroyer is the embodyment of the philosophy "Live to fight another day".
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Tecrys

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Ready for more techno babble? Here comes:

Space elevators are precious and very useful installations that take enormous effort and recources to build. Knowing this it is no surprise that any power in possession of such a technological wonder does not want to put it in jeapordy and thus much care is taken to maintain and repair an elevator.
Purpose built for this job, the Natantia is an extremely useful piece of machinery able to use it's long manipulators and modular drones in concert to achieve amazing results in a short amount of time.

A bit later in their life most Natantias received a refit due to rising popularity of orbital operations in star coronas. The refit was extensive, consisting of a fluid ceramic layer underneath it's main armor plating and a pair of shield drones that already found success in the Shrimp frigate, making it much more resistant to the hostile environment close to a star.

But there is a nother part of this refit that is worth calling attention to: the Natantia's front manipulators were upgraded with miniature phase coils and it received a second pair of manipulators further in the back of the ship equipped with of these coils. Not strong enough to phase cloak the entire ship they were meant for an entirely different purpose.
The cruiser uses it's manipulators to spin webs like a spider entirely contained in p-space with the aim of launching one of those phase threads at orbital installations or even ships.
As soon as the connection is made flux can flow freely from the target to the Natantia.

This specialized fast cruiser is invaluable for many orbital operations and sometimes even sees usage in battles when flux inefficient or overdriven ships are fielded.
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