Starsector: Best space combat seven years in the making

Check progress here
http://fractalsoftworks.com/blog/

Actual version 0.81

Alpha trailer


Changelog of the last update

Campaign
Procurement missions:
Now count for raising local suspicion (if appropriate) and getting trade experience
Adjusted dialog text for illegal deliveries
Increased Volturnian Lobster production at Volturn. A lot. Can actually be bought in reasonable quantities.
Updated ships the player can restart in: now Lasher, Wayfarer, Centurion, and Wolf

Combat
Ship AI
Cautious - more likely to move in; will always move in when assisting in a flanking maneuver and behind target
Deployment dialog: pressing “All” now cycles between selecting all non-civilian, all, and none

Changes as of February 22, 2016

Campaign:
Patrols
Will not keep being aggressive if the player turns their transponder on and turns out to be hostile and stronger
Will no longer be concerned with transponder status in deep hyperspace/not near their source system
Removed reputation penalty for escaping w/o dealing major damage
Added “cargo scan” patrols may perform when the player’s transponder is on
Chance to happen if player has been doing smuggling at patrol’s source market
Instant (i.e. no progress bar/interruption)
Only happens near said market
Standard reputation loss/surrender contraband if contraband found
Reputation loss if patrol judges cargo to be likely destined for black market, even if it’s otherwise legal
Higher chance if player was doing a lot of smuggling at market
Higher chance if player has more cargo
Also happens for “transponder off” cargo scans
Prevents getting into market until resolved or patrol involved loses track of the player
Not done more than once a month or so per market
Free ports don’t do this
Factions that allow transponder-off trade do do this
Adjusted market smuggling “suspicion level”; now depends on ratio of legal to illegal and so can’t be reduced to 0 purely by legitimate sales
Also depends on market size compared to amount of goods sold
Removed smuggling investigations
Redid campaign starting options
Four “career” choices, choice of 1 of 2 ships per career (with some overlap)
Different starting bonuses (more balanced against each other), pick 1 of 2 per career
Possible to start non-hostile with pirates
Increased starting credits to 5000
Independent faction no longer offers commissions or engages in faction hostilities
Military market access doesn’t require commission, just reputation
Player fleet able to interact with objects immediately after battle, i.e. now possible to escape through a jump-point after retreating from battle w/o always being re-engaged by enemy fleet
Improved fleet AI performance by ~50%, should be something like a 10-15% overall performance improvement in campaign
Fleets will no longer use emergency burn while only trying to maintain contact with another fleet (i.e. hanging around but not attacking)
Fleets will try to avoid storms while traveling through hyperspace
Trade disruption events: doubled duration (to make easier to take advantage of), reduced probability
Procurement missions:
Missions you find out about are more likely to be close to your current capacity to carry cargo
Added wider range of quantities
Increased low-end and reduced high-end profit margins
Fighting pirates that occasionally attempt to take your cargo will no longer ruin your reputation with the pirates, though it will still result in a slight penalty
Food shortage event: made more profitable
Asteroid belts/fields now also help conceal stationary fleets, like other ring systems
Trade fleets and fleets with only civilian ships will not longer try to “maintain contact” with a stronger enemy
People that are important to talk to (i.e. target of delivery mission) are now marked in the comm directory
Captain tooltip now shows “none” when the player or officer has no combat skills
Fleets that are standing down will no longer join nearby battles unless friendly nearby standing down fleets are involved
Person bounties:
Much more likely to spawn from non-hostile factions, less likely from hostile factions
Player fleet being destroyed reduces current bounty level by 1 (it goes from 0 to 10) and resets progress to next bounty level (requires 3 successful completions per level)
Intel screen prices are now updated when the player both enters and leaves the market (previously, only updated on entering)
Removed a lot of intel messages from map view (e.g. bounty payments and other messages where positional information isn’t important)
Widgets in the lower-left logistics display now highlight on mouseover to indicate that they can be interacted with (i.e. to show tooltips)

Miscellaneous
Rewrote game launcher in OpenGL (was in Swing)
Improves compatibility for certain versions of OS X and Linux
Allows downgrade to the more stable Java 7
“legacyLauncher” option in settings.json to use old launcher
Downgraded to Java 7 (more stable)

Hull mods
Hardened Shields now reduces the chance for shields to be pierced by Ion Beams and other similar weapons
Blast Doors hullmod now reduces CR loss from hull damage by 75%
Insulated Engine Assembly now also reduces sensor profile by half

Combat
Atropos torpedo:
Increased OP cost for single-shot version from 2 to 3
Increased speed to 500 (from 250), reduced flight time (range is around 1200 su)
Increased maneuverability, a lot - somewhat avoidable by frigates, easily hits anything larger
Added large yellow engine glow to make more visible
Essentially, more expensive and much more damaging, but shorter ranged, version of the Harpoon
High Intensity Laser:
Damage type changed to “high explosive”
Dps and flux/second doubled to 500
OP cost increased to 20 (from 16)
LR PD Laser: range increased to 800, flux/second increased to 100
Burst PD, Heavy Burst: charges increased to 3 and 5 respectively
Reaper torpedo: added 5 second refire delay (only comes into play w/ Missile Specialization’s +1 ammo)
Heron: will now act both as a carrier and a combat ship, meaning it will engage enemy ships but also be assigned to the “carrier” task as appropriate
Astral’s PD drones: now use PD Laser instead of LR PD Laser
Improved choice of task created on right-click. In order of precedence:
When the selection is a lone ship of any type, will create a “capture”
When all ships selected are civilian, will create a “rally civilian” on waypoints/non-enemy objectives
Will create “assault” on enemy battle objectives and “rally” on friendly ones
“Rally strike force” or “rally task force” on any waypoint, depending on whether selection is all bombers or not
Ship AI:
Now aware of potential reinforcements coming when facing a bigger target; won’t engage as recklessly (unless aggressive personality)

So why play this game? Becase imo, it has one of the best and more interesting combat systems I have seen.

The main features of the combat are:
-Difference between hull health, location-based armor which can be eaten away and shields (which can be different degrees of coverage and be fixed or rotated manually). Damage deactivates weapon systems.
-Flux [heat] system. Think more Mechwarrior in space than Star Wars. You have to handle a delicate balance between firing your weapons and your shield use, while also trying to overcame the enemy’s shield. You can vent flux but it leaves you vulnerable, there is a difference between soft flux and hard flux, it has an effect on the engines, the damage of energy weapons… it’s pretty cool.
-Different weapon types and mounts, with different behavior between missiles, energy weapon, ballistic weapons, fixed hardpoint vs turret, firing arcs of different types, possibility of configuring your weapon groups and firing modes, damage type (explosive,frag, kinetic,energy,emp), etc.
-Fully featured ship loadout system.
-Comprehensive and detailed stat system:


Do you see all of that? All have an impact on gameplay.
-Pilot any ship on your fleet, and use and order system to handle the rest if you want.
-Pretty good AI, it plays definitively kind-of-like a human, using every type of ship and weapon in the ‘correct’ way, instead of just going forward and fire at the closest enemy.

-In the campaign you can “play” with your id capabilities: turn on/off sensors or transponder, try to “go dark” using less energy, etc
-RPG Skill system, supplies, combat readiness, captains with different personalities, boarding actions.
-Tons of content: I’m counting 23 special ship systems (emp emitter, flare launcher, burn drive, phase cloak, etc), ~70 different weapons, 12 type of fighter wings, 43 hull mods, ~90 different ship hulls and even more “ship variants”.
-And of course trade, pirate, contraband, fight, get hired by corps and more.

-And very moddable!

I recommend this YT channel to learn to play

Manual

Wiki

Judging by the development rate of Starfarersector so far, there’s a significant chance of seeing a final version of Star Citizen before we see a final version of this. ;)

That said, though, it’s a good game. Looking forward to the finished version whenever it comes out.

Oh freaking yay!

ooo! New ships! Thanks for the heads up TurinTur

Just in case anybody is new to this game and interested, there was a thread dedicated to this game already, but under its previous name of Starfarer. I am personally glad we have a thread with the proper title.

I dropped like $15 for it a few versions ago and thought it was well worth the money. The content in the game has probably doubled since then. At least doubled.

Oh yeah, I don’t regret my purchase back in early 2011 either. ;)

Wow, they’re still not finished this! I think I added Starfarer to a watch list of some sort back in 2011 but long since lost track/interest. Is there a roadmap to release? What’s left to do? Back in 2011 it was all about combat, and campaign.

Nice, I wonder if it will make it to Steam this year? I also bought this back in 2011. :p

I am patient.

Most of us here are, but we have a limited lifespan and patience can only go so far. ;)

Edited the OP with some info of the game “selling” it to people who doesn’t know it.

You should also fix the broken images. ;)

They are gifs from the official site, I don’t know why they aren’t working. I will replace them.

Wow, thanks for the heads up. I do remember that Starfarer thread from five years ago, but I never bothered going into that thread again more recently since I figured the game would never be finished. This looks neat. But I’ll probably wait until it’s finished, even though it has a new name.

Thank you!

The game feels finished and even polished in lots of areas. I think the only missing part is the “Industry” feature. The skill tree has an industry bar, right now it’s empty, I think eventually it will be possible to build outposts and factories in the campaign with it.
So… maybe the game will be finished in two more years? :P

Someone remember to bump this thread when it’s v1.0 in 2018.

-Tom

I bought this one back in 2011.

I remember when I was a kid. 20 years looked like a lot of time. But now I have books I owe from friends from longer than that. Is curious how time runs.

Still earlier than Star Citizen.

Ahh Starfarer! This thread was confusing me: Looking at the images, I’ve played this game in some kind of alpha form, I’m sure I had… but it definitely wasn’t called “Starsector”.

I like the way this looks. Trigger pulled. Off to the tutorials.