These are by no means a criticism of the game since I have been enjoying the game the way it is.
Add a Battle Scanner equipment item. If a ship has one then you can click on enemy ships during the battle to see their shield, armor, and hull strength. It will really just make watching the details of the battle more enjoyable.
Maybe I just suck, but frigates are not as useful as they should be. They die too quickly and easily. Maybe a frigate-repair module that can be equipped on a cruiser would help make them more useful. Then they would make effective hit-and-run ships.
On the ship designer, after you have 20+ ship designs it becomes a hassle to choose a specific ship. Add a small thumbnail screenshot of each ship to its save file. Then show the ship thumbnail when you mouseover it on the load screen. Maybe use the same thumbnail image when deploying ships although deployment isn’t bad at all the way it is.
Use the same thumbnail-image idea for online challenges. It would be nice to weed out the boring challenges that are really just 20 of the exact same cruiser.
Add categories to the equipment unlock that coincide with the categories on the ship designer.
On the ship designer, have a bar graph option for the equipment properties instead of numeric values. Its hard to absorb a spreadsheet of numbers, but some bars would help a lot when seeing what a piece of equipment does at a glance. Maybe put the bar under the numeric value or make it a toggle.
More detailed orders for fighters and other ships. “Cautious” fighters flee to the edge of the battle even after their fighter-repair cruiser has been destroyed. Allow secondary orders after a formation or escort has been broken (because of a destroyed lead ship) instead of having the followers going straight to the closest enemy ship and then getting wasted.
Display the point cost of a ship somewhere on the deployment screen.
Frigates need more crew space. With most frigates I am forced to use some of my weapon slots in order to provide for extra crew, the alternative being to forgo shields, armour or speed. Which given that the frigate’s life is hard as it is, is cruel. A frigate with no armour is doomed against fighters, a frigate with no shield is doomed against anything, and a frigate with no engines is no fun. Plus, as it stands a frigate is a bit of a poor class anyway due to the fact that they aren’t tough enough to resist fighter attacks, nor do they have enough firepower to face off a cruiser. Which is all well and good (because they are still useful for missile-spamming or as anti-fighter escorts), but if they can’t even fill up their own gun slots it makes them even more feeble!
-I’d like to see more useful race-specific equipment. AFAIK currently the only race with their own equipment is the Alliance (haven’t unlocked Empire yet so don’t know about them), and the Alliance’s weapons are frankly laughable. Maybe extra large drone bays for the Empire, better cloaking device for Rebels, stronger armour for federation, etc. At present there isn’t a great deal to set the races apart.
-On the orders front, I’d like to see a setting that adjusts how aggressive a ship is. Having fighters and frigates that go tearing off across the map to attack at the word go, completely leaving the fleet behind, unless you tell them to stick to a particular ship, is a bit irritating. Also I would like a minimum range order too, to stop my missile frigates from wandering into laser range of the enemy.
-It’s a small issue, but why is the fighter targeting laser so heavy? A fighter with one of those and a torpedo launcher (AFAIK the only weapon that benefits from it) would be in danger of being overtaken by passing cruisers! Also what is the use of the cruiser rocket launcher, it’s so inaccurate and does as much damage as the average sneeze?
That said, thanks very much cliffski for what has so far been an amazing and highly addictive game. I look forward to many happy hours of alien-bashing!
Getting into what-if territory here, but I have an idea for the scenarios that would add some tactical variety.
You can deploy ships at a discounted cost, but they show up a certain amount of time after the conflict has started. Its almost like the challenges already in the game in that ships will show up later in the conflict, but it is a feature used by the player during deployment. Scenario settings decide if and when reinforcements can be used and how many points the player is allowed to allocate toward reinforcements.
It doesn’t sound too crazy to implement and would add some much needed variety to the scenarios beyond the typical nebula and anomalies.
A few suggestions from a noob (but long time space gamer, particularly traveller stuff).
The ability to zoom out a little more would be nice.
The separation of fighter, frigate (FF) and cruiser (CA) modules is not ideal, IMO. To borrow from Traveller, I would suggest considering the CA modules as “bay weapons” and the frigate weapons as “turrets.” Another post her suggested allowing multiple smaller weapons to fill a larger module. Perhaps 4 FF weapons modules might fit in one CA module?
It would be neat to be able to associate a set of standard orders with each ship type. Say I make a frigate that has as its role anti-fighter escort. Instead of setting it up with a certain set of orders—100% priority on fighters, with a range of 300, a low priority on attacking frigates, and delete the attack CA order, plus escort behavior, you would take the orders I just mentioned, and they become associated with that particular ship class.
Now EVERY time I drag one to deployment, it has those orders (when I let go, it will have the rubber band to assign it a ship to escort, too). This would make organizing ships so easy since all your ships would have the right basic orders without having to fuss so much.
Just copy this in a plain-text file to your game directory’s ‘modules’ folder. Usual disclaimers apply. Product sold by weight, not by volume. Offer void in Puerto Rico, Guam and the US Virgin Islands. Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball.
I’ve been thinking more about modules, and the FF vs CA module paradigm.
For the “standard” modules, the scaling makes sense to consider. I think I like the idea of having at least 2 tiers of weapons, however. Frigate sized weapons would be the same size as frigate std modules. CA hardpoints would be a meta hardpoint made of 4 FF sized hardpoints. So CA weapons would be larger turrets, missile bays, etc, and FF ones smaller. It could then be possible to tile 4 FF weapons on a CA hardpoint. This would really make for interesting designs.
CA missiles and torps would then be larger weapons—physically larger—or a missile armed CA could alternately tile in 4 FF launchers and send more, but smaller missiles.
This discussion about module scales has been interesting to me as I’m currently working on a mod in which frigates and cruisers will be able to use many of the same modules (well, technicaly I’ll be making pairs of modules, that just happen to have the same guiname and stats).
In my system the class differences will be more subtle, since they’ll be based on the number of modules on a ship, rather than completely different module selections. There will be some extra-heavy gear unavailable to frigates, and probably some of the smallest powerplants, crew modules, etc. will be usless on a cruiser, but a lot of the stuff in the middle will overlap. In this scheme a frigate is really just a smaller, faster cruiser.
Fighters will have a fair amount of specialized gear, but even there, I’m making some frigate and cruiser weapons thar are scaled up fighter guns (I have a quad machinegun planned as a frigate sized anti-fighter module, for example).
BlackKnight, you should join me and Hybrinoid to make a mod together. You too Archduke, I have some of your ships in my mod. I’ve just released it now. I’ve given you credit, and you can join us and make the greatest mod that GSB will have for a while.
I should have an “alpha” version out in a day or two. It will be only weapons to start, with other things to come later. I’m not even going to attempt price balancing at the start, just get all the guns working as I envision them. I have a bunch of ideas that I haven’t had time to test out yet, to make sure they work with the current game mechanics.
Here’s one example idea: A gun that does no damage itself, but which hits so frequently that it prevents armor repair modules from fixing up any armor damage on its target. This may be possible because repairing requires that no hits come in during a “peaceinterval”. The reason I’m not sure it will work is that I don’t know if the shots need to deal damage or just penetrate the defenses.
Hmm, I’m not feeling like doing actual module edits tonight, maybe I should start a thread about my mod, describing some of the design ideas…
I agree with pretty much all of those idea, though I think the ship scanner shouldn’t be a module, I think we should just be able to see that info anyways. I mean, it doesn’t give any tactical advantage during the battle since you can’t control the ships anyways.