Beta is finally here! As usual, post feedback in the thread, that includes bugs, balancing observations and the like. We probably have many new folks here since the beta has only just opened up, in general it’s just good to post what you’re thinking, maybe it will be useful.
First, the hud. The darkish blue isn’t great in space or great for eyestrain (blue is typically a pretty poor color for eyes), and against rethe and sarake in particular it blends in too much. Feel like green was better, maybe green for the hud and team and a lighter green or cyan for players would fit better. The reduced scan lines are appreciated.
The movement lines in warp are just way too dense (in warp), they’re completely overwhelming. Need a better curve on the appearance of those particles.
The separate colors for players and npcs is nice, i still wish we had more specific ship icons, dessie and corvette are very different targets and it’s always a surprise when you guess wrong!
The cruiser overheats after 1 second of firing with all guns enabled. its fine if the game supports better group control but as is it’s very annoying, additionally none of the current weapons are automatic anti-fighter weapons, leading to everything being manual and needing to try to spin the camera around to track fighters. It also means excessive weapon group management.
The interceptor/bomber/capital balance isnt working well right now, basically bomber torpedos and inty missiles are barely a threat to the cruiser, but at the same time without the point defense turrets cruisers have very little power projection to any nearby small ships. Basically, cruisers feel near invulnerable but also have very little power projection. It becomes an eternal stalemate, which is fine but with one caveat, one bullet from an interceptor can lock down a cruiser. it’s not a huge deal right now but it’s too easy to do and this will probably be done intentionally as the game grows bigger, just have one player in an inty follow a cruiser around while going full evasive, and it’ll never be able to warp away. Maybe a percent based warp break might be better. Something like “took 5% shield damage or hull damage” rather than one stay bullet from an interceptor from 4km hitting a cruiser.
Interceptors actually still seem mostly fine even after the changes, likely because of the weapon speed reduction to compensate for the accel change. However, interceptors have very limited utility in achieving objectives, the only real objective being killing small turret towers, which can now be done in about 100 ballistic ammo, which is very little and is maybe too easy. When we are able to target turrets and get a prediction point, those turrets will likely need buffs but for now it’s nice that the inty has something to contribute to a base attack. If bombers were more useful, maybe interceptors would get a stronger point defense role in defending capships, but if bombers can simply fire torps and missile volleys from 10-5km an interceptor escort won’t do much good without some additional mechanics, maybe something like shooting down torps more easily, shorter range torps, not sure.
npc carriers don’t ever seem to stop long enough to be spawnable, though this is the first patch they’re actually spawning since they’ve gotten their new role, so not super unexpected.
I don’t think i like the new capital ship control mode, i kept trying it and just going back to target mode. I hadnt tried it previously because it felt incomplete, now that it’s more fleshed out after trying it, it just doesn’t seem very useful. There just isn’t access to all the needed controls, you can hold ctrl to strafe but then you lose your rotation. Lomsor mentioned something like defining a direction to go to and just leaving it, that might be better. At least in the target mode, you can hold ctrl to freelook around the cap and shoot in any direction, even while strafing and rotating like mad.
I keep feeling like i wish there were Starsector-like autoturret controls on the capships, basically in starsector you can create a few weapon groups, say whether or not that group should autofire, and then quickly toggle autofire on and off for each group, and switch between groups. Applied to battlescape, say we created 4 weapon groups, auto energy, auto ballistic, manual energy, manual ballistic, we could use the left/right mouse button for the two manual groups as we do now, but then just have two keys or menu options to toggle autofiring of all small turrets on or off. Instead of just aiming automatically, these weapons would act as point defense and basically choose to aim and fire on their own, as long as they are enabled. Maybe even give them their own AI so they prioritize firing energy at shielded and ballistic at low shield targets.
Dark sides of planets are really hard to see on. Killing bases there is a serious problem, basically right now the night side of planets need to be ignored until the end. For some reason aiming down at the planet makes the HDR darker than looking up at the lit sky.
The heat/energy balance on the interceptor feels quite good, for me at least. The limit to firing one weapon group at a time is nice too, but only on the inty, bomber and corvette, it just feels like a bizarre limitation on a capital ship.