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Starsector 0.95.1a is out! (12/10/21); Blog post: Uniquifying the Factions, Part 2 (04/30/22)

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Author Topic: Starsector 0.95.1a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 152763 times)

Oni

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #210 on: November 10, 2021, 08:31:01 AM »

As opposed to just getting wiped, I'd say. My issue with story points to escape a tough battle is that you can only do it before even trying. When you try to win against superior enemy (which I do most of the time, because those are the most interesting fights) but the battle goes badly, story points won't save you, and you will still be tempted to alt+f4. I'd be really cool if you could use a story point during a fight to instantly escape.
Well Story Points are supposed to be some sort of cinematic event, which helps make your run interesting. So I don't have a problem with using them to avoid fights (you may have never been in a place where the enemy fleet was faster than you, I must've burned five points just getting out of the system, or how risky things feel once you run out), but their nature as a safety net makes you want to hoard them rather than spend them on the multitude of other uses (ships, colonies, etc). Which is why I suggested doling out a small bonus a month if you're too low (they are fun to use, not having any feels like you're missing an aspect of the game) and a maximum for how many you can have at a given time (having a couple in reserve for emergencies is a good idea, but it'd remove the reluctance to use them if you're near the maximum amount). It'd make people less reluctant (at least from my own experience, maybe I'm too cautious) to spend story points improving ships. Even ones ones they don't plan to keep until the end game... they'd have to make limit for how high those options that increase costs go though.

As opposed to just getting wiped, I'd say. My issue with story points to escape a tough battle is that you can only do it before even trying. When you try to win against superior enemy (which I do most of the time, because those are the most interesting fights) but the battle goes badly, story points won't save you, and you will still be tempted to alt+f4. I'd be really cool if you could use a story point during a fight to instantly escape.
Hmm... maybe make avoiding the fight entirely more expensive, but escaping mid fight costs only one? Call it the "Emergency Retreat" button that doubles your speed to give your ships a better chance of reaching the border but can only be used after the fight's gone on for a while?
« Last Edit: November 10, 2021, 08:45:34 AM by Oni »
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bobucles

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #211 on: November 10, 2021, 09:55:04 AM »

The current bonus XP system already takes care of story points. If a player chooses to bank them, they lose out on bonus XP and end up with slower progression. If they spend too many, well that's a mistake they are allowed to make. Carrots work better than sticks, and bonus XP is a nice carrot.

Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #212 on: November 10, 2021, 10:11:40 AM »

As opposed to just getting wiped, I'd say. My issue with story points to escape a tough battle is that you can only do it before even trying. When you try to win against superior enemy (which I do most of the time, because those are the most interesting fights) but the battle goes badly, story points won't save you, and you will still be tempted to alt+f4. I'd be really cool if you could use a story point during a fight to instantly escape.
Well Story Points are supposed to be some sort of cinematic event, which helps make your run interesting. So I don't have a problem with using them to avoid fights (you may have never been in a place where the enemy fleet was faster than you, I must've burned five points just getting out of the system, or how risky things feel once you run out), but their nature as a safety net makes you want to hoard them rather than spend them on the multitude of other uses (ships, colonies, etc). Which is why I suggested doling out a small bonus a month if you're too low (they are fun to use, not having any feels like you're missing an aspect of the game) and a maximum for how many you can have at a given time (having a couple in reserve for emergencies is a good idea, but it'd remove the reluctance to use them if you're near the maximum amount). It'd make people less reluctant (at least from my own experience, maybe I'm too cautious) to spend story points improving ships. Even ones ones they don't plan to keep until the end game... they'd have to make limit for how high those options that increase costs go though.
I would not want a story point maximum as long as story points scale 2^n for colony improvements and historian use.  If I can have twelve buildings, I would want to be able to save up and improve all twelve of them if I grind long enough.

My biggest gripe with story points is they are Starsector's Vespene Gas, best hoarded then spent on ship and colony upgrades, because their costs are greater than other SP uses.  Sure, having a few to avoid fights, reassign skills, or do other special things is nice, but they are a drop in the bucket compared to buying upgrades with story points.
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Hiruma Kai

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #213 on: November 10, 2021, 10:27:55 AM »

Which is why I suggested doling out a small bonus a month if you're too low (they are fun to use, not having any feels like you're missing an aspect of the game) and a maximum for how many you can have at a given time (having a couple in reserve for emergencies is a good idea, but it'd remove the reluctance to use them if you're near the maximum amount).

The issue I have with systems which give you X per period of in game time is that they incentivize boring gameplay.  Namely docking your entire fleet except a cargo ship loaded with supplies and sitting in orbit of a planet, walking away, and coming back 10 minutes later.  Spend SP on ship upgrades, repeat.

I agree the current bonus XP mechanic is the better way to go as it rewards doing something (i.e. actions that earn XP, which can include low risk things like trading or exploring) as opposed to simply passing time.

As opposed to just getting wiped, I'd say. My issue with story points to escape a tough battle is that you can only do it before even trying. When you try to win against superior enemy (which I do most of the time, because those are the most interesting fights) but the battle goes badly, story points won't save you, and you will still be tempted to alt+f4. I'd be really cool if you could use a story point during a fight to instantly escape.

The game is halfway there already, with the destroy X% of the enemy fleet allowing for a clean disengage.  It's not instant in the middle of the fight, but if you approach the battle with the idea of keeping a quick retreat an option (i.e. stay close to your side of the map, keep slow ships from ranging too far) it's not too bad on iron man.  If it's a completely one sided stomp then I suppose that might not be sufficient - but a complete one sided stomp should be easier to gauge than a 50/50 chance fight and thus easier to realize that the story point will be well spent before hand. 

The thing I find about playing iron man games is it forces me to leverage all the tools the game provides, and Starsector provides a surprising number even above and beyond story points. For example, I'd be really interested to know what the ratio of players that regularly take advantage of the clean disengage mechanic in normal runs versus iron man runs is.  I have in fact leveraged that mechanic on multiple occasions in ironman games, and because of my iron man game experience, done it once or twice in more normal campaigns where I allow myself to save and reload.

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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #214 on: November 10, 2021, 10:40:01 AM »

I had the option to cleanly disengage from fights that took multiple rounds to win (because not enough PPT for a single round, so I full retreat to reset the PPT clocks), but needless to say, I did not retreat because I want to win the encounter and not lose the loot.  If my fleet is in dire straits, I just reload and try again.

I do not play Iron because I want to reload instead of grinding for hours back to square one after a painful loss.
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SCC

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #215 on: November 10, 2021, 11:10:18 AM »

I would also like to see end game low-tech enemy.

JUDGE! slowpersun

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #216 on: November 10, 2021, 01:17:38 PM »

I would also like to see end game low-tech enemy.

Not tryin' to just straight rip off Firefly's Reavers, but basically, YES!  Be interesting for something bad to start popping out of the gates when they get opened.  But maybe don't also add some sort of phase space biological end-game enemy, prolly get sued by Paradox for copyright infringement of Stellaris's end-game crisis...
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #217 on: November 10, 2021, 02:17:01 PM »

Thank you everyone for the feedback about missiles! I appreciate it; took some notes.

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).

...

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.

I'm actually pretty open to what the effect might be - ideally it'd be something that's at least semi-interesting gameplay-wise, and also doesn't come with the problem of, for example, making most kinetics near-useless vs hull, like +150 effective armor did.

The issue with +X armor (not effective, just at the start) is that it wouldn't apply once command is transferred. Generally, the goal of the design is to have skill effects transfer over - although a couple do break that rule; most notably Missile Specialization. I kind of wonder - is "giving your intended flagship to an officer with Missile Spec, and probably Reliability Engineering, and then transferring command to it after deployment to benefit from about an extra skill's worth of stuff" at all a thing? I'd guess it's probably not quite worth it, but if we pile on more bonuses that work like this...


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?

It's not a silly question! It's a really good one; it's great to consider whether simplifying something drastically is a viable or not, and I know sometimes for me it can be a bit hard to step back enough to see the simplification options.

In this case, though, I think keeping the option of "non-officered carriers as support ships to your officered ships" is valuable. Especially in light of Support Doctrine being a top-tier skll in the same tree as the fleetwide carrier skills, and that providing bonuses specifically to non-officered ships.

(Wolfpack Tactics with some frigates and destroyers to get maximum officers on the field, supported with some carriers, sounds like it could be fun!)


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.)

I keep forgetting that all of my recent testing has been with Radiants at 60 DP; that skews my viewpoint quite a bit. Of course, they also basically never get "dud" loadouts now, either...



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?

It doesn't - as you noted, beam damage is not dealt in a single hit!



(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.
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.

Hmm, interesting! That wasn't the impression I'd gotten from watching people taking them on, so that's especially ... well, interesting. Maybe it's just not harder-*enough* compared to what I was aiming for.

(One thought I've been mulling over was swapping ship systems around on the Tesseract and the Facet. It'd make the Tesseract tankier but less dangerous, and seems like it should up the danger level of the Facets quite a bit...)


Yeah, I wish I had better footage on hand :(. It's sort of a popular enough opinion on the Discord that no one's felt the need to do a dedicated showcase for it, I suppose.

I'd still say that yes, it generalizes. The point about not having allies to retreat behind is valid, but in fleet scenarios you could similarly have cases where a ship is blocked from behind by its allies. And PD grids are a thing, but even then it doesn't take many Harpoons to knock out any overloaded ship on the front-line before it can retreat (excepting solid interceptor / Paladin PD coverage).

Steady/Timid Tesseracts would be nightmarish, but they have a combination of speed and tanki-ness that is unmatched excepting Radiants (kind of, and they're Fearless as well anyways), Auroras, Hyperions and maaybe Medusas. I doubt that personality changes would save any other ship. Fair point regarding RFC here; I wanted to make a more general point that even armor-tanking the Sabots wouldn't be great here despite the EMP damage reduction, but it's a rather clumsy exhibit for that.

I would wager that the nature of Sabots providing extremely easy overloads (or, while not particularly relevant in this instance, shutting down the entirety of a ship's weaponry and easily winning the flux war) compared to needing a sustained combination of various weapons does make this fight significantly harder than without them.

(I guess it's not super helpful since I'm arguing the opposite side, but I would not be excited to have to try to win this same fight refitted without Sabots (half is still probably reasonably doable but honestly I'd doubt it'd outperform Vlad's current loadouts), and I love a challenge :p)

Hmm. I wonder if maybe halving the EMP damage on the Sabots would put them in a better place, then. I still think they need to have an effect when armor-tanked, but the specific numbers on it, on the other hand...

And, hm, just making the AI better about armor-tanking Sabots could make a big difference here, though that's tricky.

Regardless, I appreciate your elaborating!

Do NPC fleets get access to player skills? There are quite a few skills that provide major boosts to a fleet and could dramatically impact its combat doctrine. If human fleets seem lacking, maybe that's the extra edge they need?

They do, yeah! But so do the Remnant fleets.


What factions will have access to the new ships, aside from pirates as it's obvious from the patch notes? I'd take a guess and say Hegemony will at least have some but I hope other factions get a bit more distinguished from the rest. For example I don't know if Luddic Church has anything unique in their roster. Sorry if I'm mistaken or if this was already answered somewhere.

Some will; I don't remember off the op of my head.


As opposed to just getting wiped, I'd say. My issue with story points to escape a tough battle is that you can only do it before even trying. When you try to win against superior enemy (which I do most of the time, because those are the most interesting fights) but the battle goes badly, story points won't save you, and you will still be tempted to alt+f4. I'd be really cool if you could use a story point during a fight to instantly escape.

Hmm - interesting idea - let me make a note to have a quick look! (And a bit of a think, too...)
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Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #218 on: November 10, 2021, 02:31:25 PM »

The issue with +X armor (not effective, just at the start) is that it wouldn't apply once command is transferred. Generally, the goal of the design is to have skill effects transfer over - although a couple do break that rule; most notably Missile Specialization. I kind of wonder - is "giving your intended flagship to an officer with Missile Spec, and probably Reliability Engineering, and then transferring command to it after deployment to benefit from about an extra skill's worth of stuff" at all a thing? I'd guess it's probably not quite worth it, but if we pile on more bonuses that work like this...
I tried this before but it is not worth it, especially in more recent releases.  It is annoying to exploit and not worth the hassle.  Even in previous releases that had stronger skills and more solo-friendly, it still was annoying enough that I did not want to do it every fight.
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #219 on: November 10, 2021, 03:25:54 PM »

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).

...

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.

I'm actually pretty open to what the effect might be - ideally it'd be something that's at least semi-interesting gameplay-wise, and also doesn't come with the problem of, for example, making most kinetics near-useless vs hull, like +150 effective armor did.
Hm. Just from a 'what does it sound like the skill should do' perspective, I'd think that Damage Control's chance to reduce damage from high-impact hits would fit well here instead.
...Then give Damage Control the hull regen from Combat Endurance - that feels like it should be on an industry skill rather than a combat skill anyway...
And then for Combat Endurance elite effect... hm. I think something like a 20% reduction in CR-per-deployment would be a very fitting effect for that skill to have, but it's a bad choice for an elite effect because it generally won't matter if an enemy ship happens to roll it... Maybe put something like that in as a base skill effect and move the peak operating time to elite?

...I am possibly over-complicating things. Let's try this again. Maybe make Elite Impact Mitigation give a maneuverability bonus when you take armor damage? ...Eh, that's pretty good for high-armor cruisers or capitals, but entirely irrelevant for most frigates.

Steal the old Derelict Contingent skill's chance for reduced damage? Would need re-tuning to more appropriate values - maybe something like 20% chance of reducing hits on armor by up to 40%?
That should be useful, thematic, and easy to tune to appropriate values - just make sure to keep the maximum damage reduction percent small enough that it's not 'random chance to ignore torpedo hits'.

Is "giving your intended flagship to an officer with Missile Spec, and probably Reliability Engineering, and then transferring command to it after deployment to benefit from about an extra skill's worth of stuff" at all a thing? I'd guess it's probably not quite worth it, but if we pile on more bonuses that work like this...
I will absolutely stick an officer with +15% CR on a ship that I use as a 'secondary flagship'... but that only really comes up when my 'primary flagship' is a mod-added super-frigate that's great for most fights but just doesn't quite have the durability to face up to capital-heavy enemy fleets.

I don't, as a general rule, play shenanigans with the extra ammo from missile spec... with one exception: I will absolutely do that if I've got an officer with missile spec and I'm using a double-hammer-barrage Legion XIV for station-busting. The extra ammo makes a notable difference for that specific case, and even with a reckless personality, the AI just will not do the fire-hammers-on-cooldown thing you need to do when your goal is to eliminate as many station modules as possible as quickly as possible.
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SafariJohn

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #220 on: November 10, 2021, 03:42:18 PM »

As opposed to just getting wiped, I'd say. My issue with story points to escape a tough battle is that you can only do it before even trying. When you try to win against superior enemy (which I do most of the time, because those are the most interesting fights) but the battle goes badly, story points won't save you, and you will still be tempted to alt+f4. I'd be really cool if you could use a story point during a fight to instantly escape.

Hmm - interesting idea - let me make a note to have a quick look! (And a bit of a think, too...)

Heh, had a funny thought: maybe the Church should bust out pristine LP ships when they want to get dangerous.

Look all weak normally, then BAM! Super SO ships everywhere!
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FooF

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #221 on: November 10, 2021, 05:21:02 PM »

Re: Impact Mitigation Elite effect

Spit-balling here:

"-X% High Explosive damage taken" It wouldn't effect Kinetics or Energy at all but would give a good chunk of mitigation against the most dangerous form of damage to armor and it wouldn't discriminate against Low Tech, High Tech, etc. or ship size. It would be weak against Ordos and whatnot that primarily use Energy but they're still using missiles that do HE (and the HIL).

I know ablative armor will never happen but I still think it's cool (i.e. some fixed amount of armor that has to be destroyed before depleting armor HP proper)

Bear with me on this one: limited armor regeneration as long as a ship is above 50% armor in that segment and the armor stays free from fire. If armor segments go undamaged for 5 seconds of time, they can regenerate 1%/sec up to a max of 5% from whatever "low HP" the armor has. Any damage resets the timer and the lowest armor HP is remembered so "low+5" is as high as it can get. Armor at 75% could go up to 80% (but never above 80%) but if it takes a bit hit and is reduced to 54%, its new maximum is now 59%, etc. All regen ceases if the "low" value dips below 50%. Any armor value above 95% could be regenerated indefinitely, rendering light hits on large ships meaningless. Armor tanks could try to pull out from battle and catch a "breather," since 5% isn't drastic, but would be felt over the course of a fight if you can keep the ship in relatively good shape.
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Wyvern

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #222 on: November 10, 2021, 05:28:34 PM »

Oh, how's this for a thought: damage to armor reduced based on current ship speed. The faster you're going, the more shots 'glance off'!

Balancing could be tricky, and might require scaling differently for different ship classes... but at least the notion of it seems good: a small benefit for slow, high-armor ships, a larger benefit for faster, less-armored ships, and a hopefully-noticeable boost to durability while Burn Drive is active.
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IonDragonX

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #223 on: November 10, 2021, 05:43:12 PM »

Oh, how's this for a thought: damage to armor reduced based on current ship speed. The faster you're going, the more shots 'glance off'!
Yes. I like this one.
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JUDGE! slowpersun

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Re: Starsector 0.95.1a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #224 on: November 10, 2021, 05:52:11 PM »

Oh, how's this for a thought: damage to armor reduced based on current ship speed. The faster you're going, the more shots 'glance off'!

Balancing could be tricky, and might require scaling differently for different ship classes... but at least the notion of it seems good: a small benefit for slow, high-armor ships, a larger benefit for faster, less-armored ships, and a hopefully-noticeable boost to durability while Burn Drive is active.

Dunno, depending as much on how as where you get hit, more shots would be 'absorbed,' not necessarily 'glance off.'  If you punch me in the chin, the difference between a KO, a broken jaw and sore jaw are like a few cm, but also generally dependent on how you punched me; an uppercut might KO, but a jab likely would end skidding off to the side as landing squarely.  And that's not even accounting for strong vs weak chins!  Maybe not the best example, but you get the idea.

Put another way, flying straight into a projectile (ie, exactly opposite vector), stuff isn't likely to glance off unless the surface it hits is angled as opposed to perpendicular (straight hit) or parallel (straight miss).  But game already uses polar geometry for tracking threat vectors/evasion of a ship in battle, so math/code already exists in game for basically doing this.  But definitely would require some sort of scaling for different ship classes, and prolly a second scaling parameter regarding any arbitrary ship's level of armor (since theoretically stuff more likely to ricochet off of armor, I guess).

But this is the kinda change that would require A LOT of simulation to verify balance, so maybe in the next update...
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