1.7 Alpha 1 Ready!

New releases and announcements from George and the staff.
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AssumedPseudonym
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Thu Feb 11, 2016 11:23 am

 George is doing some site maintenance. Give it another hour or so and it’ll probably be back online.
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Of all the things I’ve lost in life, I miss my mind the least. (I’m having a lot more fun without it!)

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JohnBWatson
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Thu Feb 11, 2016 5:09 pm

kay.py wrote:This may already be noted, but the final Benedict mission is rather excessive with the rebalanced penitent weapons. Especially as a tutorial mission...

Is the Ministry of Records down at the moment? I wanted to check there before bringing it up, but just got a blank screen...
So it wasn't just me? It's nice that it's not a virtually guaranteed win anymore, but it should definitely be toned down. Getting rid of one of the lighter gunships should be enough to do that.

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Atarlost
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Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:47 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:
kay.py wrote:This may already be noted, but the final Benedict mission is rather excessive with the rebalanced penitent weapons. Especially as a tutorial mission...

Is the Ministry of Records down at the moment? I wanted to check there before bringing it up, but just got a blank screen...
So it wasn't just me? It's nice that it's not a virtually guaranteed win anymore, but it should definitely be toned down. Getting rid of one of the lighter gunships should be enough to do that.
No, it's not nice. It's part of the tutorial. The purpose is not to force you to feed as many quarters as possible to keep playing. It's to teach rank newbies about escort missions.
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Shrike
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Thu Feb 11, 2016 9:53 pm

Atarlost wrote:
JohnBWatson wrote:
kay.py wrote:This may already be noted, but the final Benedict mission is rather excessive with the rebalanced penitent weapons. Especially as a tutorial mission...

Is the Ministry of Records down at the moment? I wanted to check there before bringing it up, but just got a blank screen...
So it wasn't just me? It's nice that it's not a virtually guaranteed win anymore, but it should definitely be toned down. Getting rid of one of the lighter gunships should be enough to do that.
No, it's not nice. It's part of the tutorial. The purpose is not to force you to feed as many quarters as possible to keep playing. It's to teach rank newbies about escort missions.
The solution I would suggest is to replace the Penitent ships with some civilian-based ships (Maybe Ronin/A or /B's?) and then change the mission text so that the ships are mercenaries hired by the penitents. This 1: Removes the gun as a problem & 2: Allows for a better and more dramatic introduction of the actual penitent ships later on when/if the sisters storyline gets extended.
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JohnBWatson
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Fri Feb 12, 2016 12:37 am

Shrike wrote:
The solution I would suggest is to replace the Penitent ships with some civilian-based ships (Maybe Ronin/A or /B's?) and then change the mission text so that the ships are mercenaries hired by the penitents. This 1: Removes the gun as a problem & 2: Allows for a better and more dramatic introduction of the actual penitent ships later on when/if the sisters storyline gets extended.
Aren't the Penitents openly in favor of human extinction? Might be hard to believe that they have mercenaries willing to work for them. It's possible that what George did with Luminous in EP, giving them some weaker ships to fit the lower level mission that uses them, would work better.

Alternatively, just spawning the ships with armor damage would be sufficient to reduce difficulty. They were, after all, already fighting when they gated in.

Edit: Tested some more stuff in my playthrough:

- Charon feels pretty much perfect in balance. A lot more fun with the WMD rework.

- Slam cannon is finally useful and well balanced. Supplements missiles well.

- Flenser, which is the same level as SC, is much more powerful across the board. Much better range(can hit from outside station weapon range while SC cannot), shot speed, and damage. Tried out both of them and it isn't close.

- Particle Beam Weapon power draw feels somewhat too heavy for what it is. Maybe if I didn't have the omnidirectional turbolaser cannon to kill gunships it would have been useful, but it still seems out of place considering the alternatives.

- New Katana Star Cannon effect is very powerful looking. Fits the weapon nicely.

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Sat Feb 13, 2016 7:23 pm

A few more quick observations:

I've killed four Charon frigates now, and every one of them went immediately from 89% damage to completely destroyed. This was the case whether I used Longbows, the Morning Star, or the particle beam weapon. This makes my preferred strategy for Korolov, damaging the frigate and then leaving it alone, harder. (EDIT: I was able to get the fifth frigate I killed to 95% damage before destroying it. I was using an omnidirectional turbolaser.)

The last couple of versions of the game have sometimes spawned a Viking in the early Korolov missions. This makes the missions more challenging in a good way, as they're no longer guaranteed wins.

I've self-destructed and fought the Slicer about ten times now, both using the Morning Star + Stilettos and the Moskva repeater + Stilettos. All the variants have been harder to destroy than in 1.6. I assume that the Slicer cannon got buffed. The thermo explosion that the Slicer generates when he dies also makes it harder to engage him at point-blank range. The fight is definitely more challenging now and would have been very difficult without missiles.

EDIT: Having MAG ammo available at CW fortresses and CSCs gave me a reason to try the MAG launcher. Its high damage + high WMD + non-tracking short range made for some really cool up-close battles, especially since I paired it with low-WMD ion blasters.

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Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:09 am

Edited for a misread on my part, the changes look and sound great. I'm especially excited for the updated fracture cannon graphics, as my favorite in game weapon Im really hoping it does not get nerfed/buffed in comparison to the current version 1.6.4. It's the perfect Phobos destroyer as is with no enhancements whatsoever.
Last edited by Yukine on Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:21 am

Yukine wrote:So if I'm to deduce the info in this thread correctly every single weapon with a WMD rating will now require more than one weapon slot?
No, that's not the case.
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JohnBWatson
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Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:45 am

Gave my run another few systems. Noticed the Steel Slavers have a much more balanced offense/defense ratio now, which is great. A few other things:

1. It feels like ranged weapons are less OP with the Sapphire(which I'm using here) than the Wolfen. More enemies are able to keep up, and fleeing every combat isn't as much of a possibility. It's possible that if the Wolfen's speed were closer to the Sapphire's, it would be a bit more balanced.

2. My huge stock of weak missiles is still decent in the Ungoverned Territories, but not as good as a stock that would cost credits to create. This strikes a good balance, and I'm pleased with how missiles turned out.

3. Rama has been trying to get himself killed quite a bit. Seems to suffer from the same issue as autons now, if that wasn't the case before. Still balanced and fun to have as a wingman, though.

4. Battles against stations are a lot more fun now that I can't just off them instantly, and with that slight autorepair it feels a lot more intense and time - focused. Unfortunately, with instant respawning of guards, attacking at range and ducking out whenever attacked against seems to still be the most viable option for a lot of stations. I maintain that capital ships should take a minute or so to spawn, and abort the process if the station dies, to make killing them beforehand feel worthwhile.

5. The Penitents are terrifying now. That's a good thing - they were tough before, but now they really sell their role as minions of a deity that wants me dead. Now that they're less slow to fight, adding a few of them to the patrols table might be nice - it certainly fits their lore for them to hunt down pilgrims of Domina, and would add some more variety to the random encounters the player finds in the UT.

Edit: Rama died. :(

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Sun Feb 14, 2016 11:04 am

I've been a bit limited in what I can test......because of the TBD download bug, my client can't ever finish downloading TSB. Which triggers the memory leak crash every time I play. But things are looking reasonable in general. I'll probably hold off on trying any further testing until Alpha 1a or Alpha 2 fix those problems so I don't have crashes every 5 minutes or so.
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Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:38 pm

1. It feels like ranged weapons are less OP with the Sapphire(which I'm using here) than the Wolfen. More enemies are able to keep up, and fleeing every combat isn't as much of a possibility. It's possible that if the Wolfen's speed were closer to the Sapphire's, it would be a bit more balanced.
Do you think the speed is excessive given the Wolfen's device slot limitations? A Sapphire with an enhanced Titan drive is faster than the Wolfen, and it can afford the slot to install that engine.
2. My huge stock of weak missiles is still decent in the Ungoverned Territories, but not as good as a stock that would cost credits to create. This strikes a good balance, and I'm pleased with how missiles turned out.
I agree. It's no longer a no-brainer to use looted missiles. Making Lucifers and high-flux MAGs available at CW Fortresses but not at Commonwealth settlements makes the player want to upgrade to a better launcher but doesn't force the timing of that decision.

Looted missiles -> weak
Strong missiles for a low-level launcher (NAMI, MAG) -> available if you know where to look
Strong missiles for a high-level launcher (Rasiermesser) -> available nearly everywhere

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JohnBWatson
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Sun Feb 14, 2016 5:42 pm

Do you think the speed is excessive given the Wolfen's device slot limitations? A Sapphire with an enhanced Titan drive is faster than the Wolfen, and it can afford the slot to install that engine.
Haven't installed one, so I don't know yet. I'm just going by base speed right now.

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Sun Feb 14, 2016 6:24 pm

I'm at Point Juno now, and the Europa wreck is denying my docking request:
Docking request denied.jpg
Docking request denied.jpg (62.6 KiB) Viewed 1972 times

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JohnBWatson
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Sun Feb 14, 2016 7:56 pm

Went through a few more systems. Found a few issues:

1. Black Strelka missile effect is much too intense for its fire rate. Causes lag, and nothing that's not a glitch has ever given me lag before. It should probably also be buffed to make the price worthwhile; it's not really worth it right now due to the fragments rarely hitting, even against capital ships.

2. Thermo shells are a bit too expensive, given how quickly they run out.

3. Task Force CSCs don't use their Brits against Worldships. This one's been on ministry for a while, but I thought I'd mention it anyways for the sake of completeness.

Other than that, been liking the Outer Realm. Quite pleased with how Red Strelkas work, too. Right now I'm desperately trying to keep a Xeno Worldship off of a CSC, so wish me luck with that.

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Sun Feb 14, 2016 8:55 pm

JohnBWatson wrote:1. Black Strelka missile effect is much too intense for its fire rate. Causes lag, and nothing that's not a glitch has ever given me lag before. It should probably also be buffed to make the price worthwhile; it's not really worth it right now due to the fragments rarely hitting, even against capital ships.
I've also been getting lag with the high-flux MAG. I haven't tried the Makayev launcher yet.

I just finished all of part I, including the fight with the ICS. Observations:

Regeneration makes the Ares Shipyard less vulnerable to friendly fire. It also makes it harder for me to scratch it from a distance, run away from the guards, and come back to finish the fight. In my opinion, that's great.

Having missiles for the NAMI Heavy at CSC's and having the missiles replenish makes that launcher usable now. Since the missiles aren't available at Commonwealth stations, they're not as easy to get as Rasiermesser missiles, but I'm assuming that was intentional.

I got lucky and looted an APA. Although NAMI Heavy missiles are useful now, the APA is still a better base buster. I guess that makes sense, as it's a two-slot weapon. My subject feel is that the missiles are easy to shoot down, but the APA barges through enemy fire and almost always makes it to the target.

The plasma cannon is very usable now. It no longer gets stopped so easily by enemy fire, and its rapid fire rate, shorter range, and lower damage make it feel like a skirmish version of the APA.

The plasma weapon effects look great, and everything seems useful and more balanced than in 1.6.

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