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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Hyperspace Topography (10/12/22)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.95.1a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 188619 times)

RustyCabbage

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #165 on: November 08, 2021, 09:16:51 AM »

That said, though, if someone has a loadout in mind that demonstrates how the Sabot is much too strong that isn't a Falcon (P) (or, I suppose, a Gryphon, though that's a different ball of wax), then I'd love to have a closer look!
I'll go with this video, wherein a player easily takes the Tesseract fight in a pure Low Tech fleet with mass Sabots and a few complimentary Harpoons:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5BYXY8rLl4
e.g. you can see off screen that three Enforcers and a Mora wipe the strongest ship in the game effortlessly. This course of events pretty much generalizes to any encounter in the game. Tesseracts aren't the tankiest ship around, but they aren't push-overs and they have built-in RFC so they're also far from the most vulnerable to Sabots. And you're not going to get comparable performance with any other missile + accompanying loadout.

Grievous69

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #166 on: November 08, 2021, 09:29:39 AM »

@RustyCabbage!
I mean that's cool and all but it just shows that missile spam is strong when focused on 1-2 targets. That fleet is pretty much built for it, and I suppose officers have missile skills and ships have built-in missile hullmods. The Enforcers are truly scary when they unload everything at once. But what I'm trying to say is you could accomplish similar feats with different missiles. Invest heavily into kinetic ballistics and just pun Harpoons everywhere. Actually this is pretty much where it ends in vanilla because Doritos are fast and will just dodge other things.

Don't get me wrong, Sabots are very strong and always useful, but it takes so little to push them into "unusable and completely harmless when used by AI". If you take away the EMP portion, it would be the most pointless missile as basically only the player and maybe phase ships could take advantage of it.
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #167 on: November 08, 2021, 09:57:50 AM »

That Onslaught flagship was effectively one hit away from death late in the fight.  You were lucky those fighters did not get close enough, or something else slamming into your ship.  If it had been any other fight, losing that Onslaught would have been a pyrrhic victory worthy of reload if you did not have Field Repairs (by losing more money replacing the ship than a bounty would pay), but since Omegas have unique loot, some losses would have been acceptable to obtain unique best-in-class weapons.

Also, the sabots ran out somewhat early, no later than first five minutes, they better do something!  Missiles are not worth using if too unreliable.  The rest of the fight was trading gunfire.

Given punishing losses and stingy rewards, game is balanced on player steamrolling every fight, or simply avoiding combat altogether if that is not possible (and run drugs or supplies for easy money).

P.S.  One of the Tesseracts avoided a mass Sabot barrage by kiting away from that Onslaught.  Granted, it did that not to avoid Sabots, but to play its stock cowardly AI routine of running away from anything it cannot surround or overpower (your Onslaught flagship in this case).
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 10:05:41 AM by Megas »
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IonDragonX

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #168 on: November 08, 2021, 10:13:30 AM »

Cybernetics are rarely used on healthy humans, but make a great way to extend the careers of casualties. It may be cool to have a simple reduction in the number of marines lost in raids. Tactical drills could lose the casualty bonus, and instead get a marine XP buff (which makes more sense for intense training imo).
This is a good suggestion! I like it!  ;D
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JUDGE! slowpersun

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #169 on: November 08, 2021, 11:31:35 AM »

Cybernetics are rarely used on healthy humans, but make a great way to extend the careers of casualties. It may be cool to have a simple reduction in the number of marines lost in raids. Tactical drills could lose the casualty bonus, and instead get a marine XP buff (which makes more sense for intense training imo).
This is a good suggestion! I like it!  ;D

+1 Agree, for both suggestions.  Although it does beg the question:  Do marines generated by High Command start with more XP than marines generated by the military base version of industry?  Asking for a friend...
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #170 on: November 08, 2021, 12:10:13 PM »

What I would like to see, though, is better endurance from harpoon pods. Three shots is just... well. That's what you get for spending a small slot on harpoons. I actually liked harpoon pods better at two missiles per salvo. If they're not going to go back to that... give them a few more missiles, please? >.>

They can get what, up to 24 more missiles per pod? :)

I don't think Sabot is necessarily mega OP or anything. It's just the default choice because it's always useful and "always works"

I think that's pretty fair.

I wouldn't mind the trade of Harpoon pods having a smaller throw (three missiles per volley instead of four) in exchange for a significantly deeper magazine. Would make them last longer while also being less 'force-feed an overloaded target 12 Harpoons at once and make it explode'.

A possibility, though it seems like a solid missile choice already, so I'm not sure it's something I want to mess with, at least not without a lot of testing.


Operations center kite is on the menu, boys!

(Every time I hear "X is back on the menu", I wonder what kind of society the Uruk-Hai had that made this a common turn of phrase among them. Do they have sit-down restaurants? Like... "yes, sparkling water, please, and I'll have the Leg of Guy-I-Killed-the-Other-Day... but I digress.)

Yes, *thumbs up* on the OC Kite :)


Sorry about the wall of text, it swear it didn't appear as long when I wrote it. 

No worries :)

I currently use IM, DC, and armored mounts (along with solar shielding), so I'm trying to keep the guns firing with the tools that are available.  My experience has not been the same as what you are describing, and I do find it's difficult to keep the mounts working well (in particular the missiles which often have only a limited time to use).  I appreciate you trying it out.

To be clear on the close range weakness, my issue isn't that close-range flanking won't be painful...it is and that feels fair.  It's that the fixed nature of the weapons really limits the damage you can deal back in those cases.  That's true even if you have a partner to avoid flanking; if your target moves laterally at close range, it will really reduce your effectiveness.  The best counterexample is the Legion XIV, which I found to be surprisingly strong in my LT fleet.  With 5 turreted heavy needlers and two hurricanes, it can flux out attackers from a number of angles and then pursue them with missiles, all while being slower than the Dom. 

Related to the various comments on Radiants and close attackers, I think you are hinting at what I see as the Dom's identity crisis.  Against those end-game enemies, what is it supposed to be good at?  Not really tackling a Radiant when it is the target, and not attacking faster-moving enemies that close distance.  I find it's just got a small list of cases where it works well against Redacted.  It's a shame, as it's a pretty decent ship against non-Redacted fleets that respect range a little more, but struggles with the transition to the major leagues.

The missile mounts, yeah, they can be tough to keep online. But again, if it's facing down a Radiant, that's a big ask. If it's able to just tank it for long enough to create openings for other ships, it's already doing more than many cruisers are capable of.

I also hesitate to use Redacted as the ultimate measuring stick long term; as you say they have some specific behaviors that might not carry over to every endgame threat (or, indeed, to high-level bounties, which can be pretty close to on par with them.)


I'll go with this video, wherein a player easily takes the Tesseract fight in a pure Low Tech fleet with mass Sabots and a few complimentary Harpoons:

e.g. you can see off screen that three Enforcers and a Mora wipe the strongest ship in the game effortlessly. This course of events pretty much generalizes to any encounter in the game. Tesseracts aren't the tankiest ship around, but they aren't push-overs and they have built-in RFC so they're also far from the most vulnerable to Sabots. And you're not going to get comparable performance with any other missile + accompanying loadout.

Thank you, I appreciate it! It's unfortunate that the most interesting bit happened offscreen :) The Tesseracts can be surprisingly easy to burst down, provided they overload at the wrong time (for them), and I've seen it happen in some kind of unexpected cases - but that's luck based, and not seeing this, it's impossible to say what happened there.

And as far as generalizing - quite seriously, does it? The Tesseracts are heavily outnumbered and can't use allies to back off and recover behind. They also have "fearless" AI and so get into more trouble trying to tank Sabots on shields while hanging around. It's really the perfect storm of being susceptible to Sabots. RFC probably doesn't matter too much here; the bigger problem is how much they shield-tank and what it does to their flux, I think.

I have a feeling that even just changing their personality to "steady" could cut down on the effectiveness of Sabots against them a lot.

And whether this really generalizes to a fight when this fleet is outnumbered - I'd imagine it *can* beat a high-level Ordo, probably without too much trouble, because it looks like a high-end fleet. But would it be a much harder - or at all harder - fight with the Sabots either partially or fully replaced by something else? That seems much harder to say. At least, it does not appear to be self-evident to me just from watching this video. And from experience, Harpoons and Reapers seem very, very good in vs-Ordo fights; the number of times that a Radiant - or even a Brilliant - has managed to back off after getting over-fluxed, for lack of finisher-type weapons... that seems to happen a lot.

That said, still, something for me to think about and keep an eye on, and I appreciate the video and the thoughts. While we're on the subject: any missiles that stand out as particularly bad?

(This reminds me, I've been wanting to tweak the Tesseract fight. It's *supposed* to get harder once you destroy one of them, but that doesn't seem like it's holding up at all.)
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #171 on: November 08, 2021, 12:34:44 PM »

Overall the upcoming patch looks really good to me.

I am a bit curious where your ideas for the elite Impact Mitigation effect are going, given the 90% max mitigation being duplicated in Polarized armor.  Where you looking for something that helps at high armor levels and or small weapon hits (which is what the 85%-90% does), but doesn't quite stack so much (1/3 less damage during the maximum mitigation period extends it by a factor of 1.5,.e. 50% more, while 2/3 extends it by by a factor of 3).

Looks like we've already got less damage to armor (base IM), less engine/weapon damage (base IM), max 90% mitigation (polarized armor), 50% more armor for calculations based on flux (polarized armor), reduced emp based on flux (polarized armor).

Clearly, you're trying to move away from flat armor for damage reduction calculation purposes since you replaced it with the 90% max reduction in the first place.  At the end of the day, all these things do is interact to make the ship last longer when it's shields are down, so what scale improvement were you looking for and against which classes of weapons?

Would something like a simple 10% more real armor, or +75/150/200/250 (tweak numbers as needed) real extra armor based on size, repaired instantly at the end of every engagement work?  Where "repaired" is just the has an elite Impact Mitigation officer piloting it at deployment time, so it adds say +250 to whatever the armor was there as the ship is deployed into the fight.  At the end, if it's over normal maximum in any cell, just remove excess.

It gives a player a reason to actually armor tank a little bit, since if it's dinged a little, it'll be repaired instantly at the end of the current engagement and before the next fight in the series starts.

As for carrier balance, that is always tricky, as noted by the way they scale with massing more and more fighters in a single point.  Guided missiles have the same problem, although it's more of a large missile bay issue (Hurricane, Locust).  Maybe harpoon/sabot swarms also have a similar issue, but they don't last for four minutes of non-stop fire.  One might imagine bonuses applying to unguided munitions that don't apply (or apply lesser) to their guided brethren which can shoot over friendlies.

I do really like the idea of linking officers to fleet wide carrier bonuses.  Which in some way lets you say "These fighter bays are more important than those fighter bays".  This is perhaps a silly question, but would it be simpler to tie "fleet wide" fighter bonuses to the presence of an officer on the ship just like how Wolf pack tactics works?  As opposed to the more complicated double the bonus if officer is present interaction?

If the skill is balanced with officers in mind, and there's like a factor of 2 difference between ships with and without officers, then I feel the only effective fighter choice would be a few ships with officers and bays, instead of a mixture of officered and unofficered ships with bays.  You'll eliminate any excess bays in your fleet even more so than now, given you'll take twice the hit on your officered ships simply for carrying around spare carriers.  It certainly makes balancing much easier as you have to consider far fewer permutations.
 
I always viewed Wolf pack tactics as you (the fleet commander) giving each individual officer on a frigate a extra skill above and beyond the normal limit.  Given it's +20% damage to larger ships is pretty comparable to Target Analysis.  So go the same route with fighter skills, with the additional caveat that the skill given out gets weaker if you're giving it to too many officered bays.

Say it's the same bonus as now, +50% faster fighter replacements (up to 8 bays, scaling down afterwards) it puts control in the players hands to determine how that 50% is distributed.  Take the case of 4 Herons, 2 get deployed, and 2 are reserve for when the first two get damaged, destroyed, or are out of CR.

Case 1: Only officered fighter bays count. 50% bonus all the time for the primary Herons, 0% for reserve Herons (or if I get a chance to switch officers between fights, also 50%).

Case 2: Officers get current bonuses, unofficered halved.  33% bonus for the primary Herons, 16% for reserve (or 33% if I can switch officers).

I'd prefer the 1st case, which also happens to be the same power level for both if I eliminate the reserve carriers completely from my fleet (so same peak power if I do so, i.e. 50% replacement rate).

It also means I don't have to put converted fighter bays on every single civilian ship with drones - I did find myself in the weird spot once of not having that hull mod, but having fighter uplink in one play through.  Eventually tracked down a copy, but still.

It's possible the requirement justifies a buff to numbers, or maybe additional bonuses with the skills (return of the old -20% damage taken by fighters?).  Not sure on that point, but I think restricting it to officers as is would likely be an actual small buff for a number of fleet compositions.  The only compositions which would be weakened would be those with less than 8 bays in ships with officers, which typically means 2-4 officers dedicated to carriers.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2021, 12:36:22 PM by Hiruma Kai »
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #172 on: November 08, 2021, 01:01:13 PM »

I also hesitate to use Redacted as the ultimate measuring stick long term; as you say they have some specific behaviors that might not carry over to every endgame threat (or, indeed, to high-level bounties, which can be pretty close to on par with them.)
Ordos with Radiants make every other recurring fight look like midgame chumps, even named bounties that are worth about 350k.  (It was less extreme before 0.95, the gameplay changes really benefitted the Remnants.)

Behavior and defenses of non-Ordos do not matter too much when top Ordos is at an 11 while everything else is a 6 or 7 at best.  Player needs a fleet that can crush the fleet with power level of 11, and the one that can do that should crush the level 6 or 7 enemy even if the anti-11 fleet does not have optimal tools to crack weaker enemies defenses most efficiently because of the power level involved.  Like having fire beat water because fire user massively outlevels the water user.

I guess dual Tesseracts can be tough, but even they sometimes fall as easily as a normal 350k bounty, and there are only two such fights.

Hopefully, there will be more recurring endgame threats aside from Radiants.
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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #173 on: November 08, 2021, 01:05:56 PM »

I am very much looking forward to this patch, despite my favorite thing getting a nerf, as it does over perform in the hands of the player. Though I do have a question. With the Elite effect of damage control, does this apply to beam weapons like the Tachyon lance that do more than 500 damage, but not in a singular hit?
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Amoebka

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #174 on: November 08, 2021, 01:06:15 PM »

Quote
While we're on the subject: any missiles that stand out as particularly bad?

Well, breaches and proximity launchers. Both are getting buffed already, but I'm VERY sceptical the current changes will do anything. Ultimately, if I want shield damage I do sabots, and if I want armor/hull damage I go harpoons. Everything else feels like a waste, except maybe locusts against carriers. Medium locusts when, Alex.  ::)
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Grievous69

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #175 on: November 08, 2021, 01:20:49 PM »

Pilums are absolutely useless and a waste of OP unless you spam a bazillion of them, or if you get off of breaking AI behaviour. I remember back when they costed 10 OP but were a bit faster, they had a use at least. Now I just leave empty if I can't afford or put literally anything else.
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #176 on: November 08, 2021, 01:27:19 PM »

While we're on the subject: any missiles that stand out as particularly bad?
Hm. Here's a question: does anyone actually use the large-slot Reaper? I've found myself considering it a few times - but every time I do, I end up deciding that the Hammer Barrage actually does the job better - less ammo, yes, but much cheaper to mount, higher DPS, and four small torpedos are harder to shoot down than two large torpedos.

(This reminds me, I've been wanting to tweak the Tesseract fight. It's *supposed* to get harder once you destroy one of them, but that doesn't seem like it's holding up at all.)
In my experience, it really does work that way - the worst thing to do against the Tesseracts is to just kill both of them at once, and taking out all the shards is where the meat of the fight is. My most successful fights against these things typically involve using my flagship to lure one of them away and keep it busy while the rest of my fleet deals with the other, just to avoid killing the second one off until the first one's shards have been at least mostly finished off.
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Thaago

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #177 on: November 08, 2021, 01:34:03 PM »

I _sometimes_ use the large slot reaper on player conquests when I want missiles but don't want to take the missile skill because it has an excessive amount of ammo. But in general its DPS is low and few ships can use it effectively.

I agree with Wyvern re: tesseracts. A whole one with an aggressive loadout has more danger of just singling out and popping a destroyer (or sometimes cruiser if the AI drops its shield at the wrong time), but once one splits things get very hectic and ships get flanked badly. I also try to stall one while mopping up another.
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bobucles

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #178 on: November 08, 2021, 01:35:22 PM »

Pilums are absolutely useless and a waste of OP unless you spam a bazillion of them, or if you get off of breaking AI behaviour. I remember back when they costed 10 OP but were a bit faster, they had a use at least. Now I just leave empty if I can't afford or put literally anything else.
I actually enjoyed using pilums on the DOOM in older versions. The slow missiles act as a defensive screen, absorbing hits and protecting precious phase ship armor. When they do hit, it's a big punch. Phase ships have increased fire rate and recharge thanks to cloaking, which counters the weakest aspect of the missile pack.

I wouldn't mind if pilum missiles were hardier. Big, slow, persistent, tanky missiles are not very different from fighter craft. It might even make a nice design for fighter drones.

Grievous69

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #179 on: November 08, 2021, 01:36:22 PM »

I find large Reapers quite useful if I need a large HE missile on a ship that's not built for knife fighting. Hammer barrage is great but man does it suck when half or more shots gets wasted.
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