Post news RSS Progress update - 9/29/17

Weekly progress update for Stellar Tactics posted on Steam Forums!

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NOTE: This is an older update - catching up on Indie DB.

Hi everyone - hope you had a great week. I'm going to post these every Friday so you know how things are coming along with space combat and other content.

This week:
--All 40 ships are now combat ready and playable by both the AI and the player.
--The combat pause system is in. When you pause combat the entire universe stops allowing you to pan your camera to get a better sense of the environment around you, turn turrets on and off, target enemies and turrets individually, review scanning data and manage your energy. While combat is paused you can also review inventory, character info, log data, the universe map and all ship data including swapping team members to various ship stations in the ship UI.
--Combat damage tables are complete and balanced as far as I'm going to take them for now - I'll tweak things once you get a chance to play with space combat and I gather feedback.
--Shield damage mitigation is in and working. Shields mitigate different types of damage based on the quality of the shield you have equipped. You can buy and loot varying quality tiers of ship equipment so as you explore, your ship's equipment will improve (and so will the AI).
--I'm working on the ship scanning system today which is nearly finished. The team member assigned to the electronics station of the ship UI gains experience from scanning and as they improve in skill will gain perks that you can customize. Scan data will provide you with more/better information. Some of the info you won't get at lower levels of scanning skill are enemy turret damage ratings and shield mitigation bonuses.

A few things about space combat and shields:

  • Ion weapons can turn the tide of battle and are very important. This weapon type is a shield killer and comes in three varieties - projectile, beam and missile. You can of course choose to equip any type of weapon you like, however, if you scan a ship and it has multiple Ion weapons and you do not, you should run or make sure your ship can handle the damage.
  • Ion weapons do increased damage against shields which is then mitigated by the shields ion resistance ratings.
  • Ion weapons do very little damage against ship armor.
  • Non Ion "beam" weapons do 1/2 damage against combat shields and are then mitigated by the shield resistance rating for that damage type.

So, beam weapons are not very useful against shields unless they are Ion based. Depending on the number of mounts you have on your ship, you may want to balance your weapons accordingly. I was trying out a matched enemy ship that had two ion weapons, a missile turret, and two Gauss cannons. I had 2 missile launchers and a few Gauss cannons and the other ship tore me up. I think the key here is picking your fights. I would have been fine against another ship with matching equipment. If I had quality shields that were attuned to Ion damage, I would have likely survived.

And now for something different!
Missiles come in three base types - explosive, thermal and ion. I'll be adding a warhead settings menu for each missile type that lets you customize their payload for specific purposes like disabling turrets/engines, evading ECM and chaff, range/damage, splash damage and a few other settings. Settings for missiles are a trade-off - each of the below can increase/decrease damage based on how you set up the missile. Missiles are configured once and all missiles of that type use those settings until you change them. This may not be in for the initial release of space combat.

  • Setting the missile for longer range adjusts damage values down and conversely shorter range increases missile damage
  • Setting missiles to evade ECM and chaff will reduce damage output, however, they are more likely to evade active countermeasures.
  • Splash damage reduces damage and affects more sub-systems (Shields/Turrets/Engines etc)
  • Targeting specific systems increases damage to that system and reduces damage the hull of the enemy ship once the shields are down.

At least that's the plan. Once I get the warhead settings menu in place I'll play test it to see if the system is practical.

In other news a third mission set is being worked on now that the caves are done. It's shaping up nicely and will go in the game after space combat is finished. I'll share a screenshot once the lighting is finished.

Until next week...

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