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Messages - Zhentar

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Blog Posts / Re: Skills and Story Points
« on: July 30, 2019, 05:28:14 PM »
Now there's a thought - Spending a story point or two for leads on special entities could be rather compelling! I've never found the pop[ulation]sicles early enough to weigh into my colonization decisions at all; a way to seek them out specifically would let me play in a different way (...if they're even in a system with any planets worth inhabiting, of course...). Though the simple approach I can think of (pay story point, get constellation name) is both boring and trivially save-scummable, it would have to be something more involved than that.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: June 11, 2019, 09:44:52 PM »
I feel like the impact of IM is way overestimated. It's 100% more supplies per month, so based on the *worst* parameter, it costs as much as having another ship of that type. However, this is offset by:

1) A 20% reduced deployment cost with no combat penalty; this alone can go a long way towards mitigating the supply use, depending on how much you use the ship
2) No increase in fuel consumption, compared to having a second ship
3) A 50% increase in crew required, vs 100% for a second ship

The downside is, of course, not having the 2nd ship. I mean, it's not a net benefit, but then again it is a d-mod. IMO it's nowhere near being unusable.

For a non-phase non-carrier combat ships, there are 9 d-mods to pick from. The first time we pick, there's a 2 in 9 chance of getting IM or EFI. Assuming we didn't get either, the next time we pick, it's a 2 in 8 chance. Thus, the probability of not getting either of those for 2 d-mods is 7/9 * 6/8, or around 58%. The chance of getting one or both of IM/EFI, then, is 42%. Unless I've miscounted the number of applicable d-mods? Or messed up something else?

I feel like you are way underestimating the impact of IM  :) That is costs as much as another ship of that type, without providing any of the benefits of another ship, is exactly why it's so awful.

1) A 20% reduced deployment cost doesn't come anywhere close to mitigating the supply use. Even assuming no other d-mods, you'd have to deploy it 5 times a month to offset the maintenance cost; few ships repair & recover fast enough for that to be remotely viable (never mind the improbability of encountering the battles to enable that). 'No combat penalty' is also debatable, since I assume the increased crew requirement also translates to increases crew losses with hull damage.
2) Sure, this is fine, but it's also true of every other d-mod aside from erratic fuel injector, and the other d-mods don't double the supply cost of your ship. It's also a pretty minor benefit: fuel is much cheaper than supplies, doesn't compete with salvage for cargo space, and requirements are pretty straightforward to predict, even aside from the significant assistance the UI provides for it.
3) This is not a bonus, it's a severe penalty. I don't care about the absolute number of crew required past the first few months of the game, I care about the size/ratio of the buffer between minimum crew and maximum crew. For nearly every ship, an additional ship is a benefit here; they increase the maximum by more than they increase the minimum. IM on the other hand strictly shrinks the buffer, on top of consuming it faster if you try to leverage that reduced deployment cost.

The increased supply cost carries the same problem as the crew: it consumes the precious buffer between supply requirements and total cargo space, while a second ship grows your buffer. And planning supplies for an expedition is already a challenge; underestimate your requirements and face potentially disastrous consequences, overestimate and you have heavy upfront costs and have to throw away loot and/or return early.

Taking a closer look at the d-mods, there are 9, but 3 are mutually exclusive structural damage mods. So my calculation is overly pessimistic, yours is too optimistic, and the right answer is more trouble to math out than I want to deal with :P (I think yours is closer to right than mine, though)

Even if a ship has a single d-mod (IM), you can entirely mitigate the maintenance penalty if you have:
  • Fleet Logitsics 2 (-25% maint)
  • Field Repairs 3(-20% maint)
  • Safety Procedures 3(-50% d-mod effect)
  • Efficiency Overhaul (-20% maint)

This is exactly what I mean. You need Field Repairs 3 and Safety Procedures 3 for IM to be tolerable. And every other d-mod also benefits from them as well; IM is still significantly worse than the others, just the margin is shrunk by enough to get away with not worrying about it. Most of the other d-mods can be mostly/entirely mitigated by just 1-3 points in a single combat skill, and easily supplied by an officer instead of the player character.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: June 11, 2019, 07:16:53 AM »
The pool of d-mods is small enough that you will encounter any given d-mod very frequently (e.g. a combat ship without hangars with 2 dmods has a 57% chance of having increased maintenance and/or erratic fuel injector). Increased Maintenance just sticks out because it's the only d-mod that renders ships unusable if you don't have two specific level 3 skills.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: June 08, 2019, 04:36:54 PM »
On a different note, I see that the reputation penalties for dealing with punitive expeditions have drastically reduced and the frequency is still low, but still it should be remembered that getting reputation is painfully slow and grindy in this game. Basically everything costs reputation, and the only way to get it back is to take on easy-peasy missions that take so long that it only feels worthwhile if you can get at least three going to the same place. I don't have an objection to how reputation loss works currently (except that perfect stealth takedowns are impossible), but reputation gain is a total pain.
I really want to play as Space Mafia, but dull missions are the only option for gaining a lot of reputation to keep up with various losses. Can't I use my drug money to fund some government programme, or make some corrupt authorities not investigate too deep into a few unimportant fleets going missing?

- You can use bribes to prevent expeditions from starting without any reputation penalty
- Reputation gain is quite easy once you're strong enough to beat up remnant fleets (by turning in AI cores to factions)

Hmm - it's probably not that but rather targeting stuff behind those

It can get a bit annoying how often the AI will do this with low tech stations. Particularly when you watch them unload 5 reapers into an indestructible spar.

General Discussion / Re: Dead weight Paragon
« on: June 05, 2019, 05:07:56 PM »
The Burst PD beam DPS is 350; the reported 214 is accounting for the refire delay, so it's effective damage for armor penetration is 175 - higher than any other non-torpedo fighter weapon (even the warthog light mortar).

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 28, 2019, 07:11:58 PM »
One thing that I think would make small patrols work better (for both the player and the AI) would be reacting to large fleets near stations by clinging to the station rather than running for the hills; it would feel more "right"/realistic, and put their meager combat strength to some good use, helping to prevent raids/protect important assets.

Suggestions / Re: AI use of missiles & torpedos vs. phase
« on: May 27, 2019, 07:48:53 PM »
It's not just missiles & torpedoes, though it's certainly more obvious when there are 5 reapers involved. The AI speculatively unloads everything at phased ships, without any apparent regard for the opportunity cost or probability of success. Not a problem for PD/tactical lasers, but it can easily mean the big guns are on cooldown/flux capped when the phase ship actually does unphase.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 27, 2019, 01:09:48 PM »
The game does push players towards "must supply everything in faction" currently; you pay penalties for importing (hulls, specifically) and get bonuses for meeting demand yourself. Perhaps there should be benefits to importing cross faction as well, to make it more of a trade-off; perhaps you could get small opinion boosts with factions you are buying from, or they could be less inclined to send expeditions (or even intercede in other faction expeditions - the people selling you ore don't want your refineries disrupted!)

I was chasing some pirates near a planet, and when I made contact I was joined by the nearby allied station. Pirates decided to flee, I decided to pursue (and took command of the pursuit). The station, naturally, did not participate in the pursuit. But at the end I only got 90% credit for the bounty payout!

I thought I read that somewhere.  In practice, every time I see the Pathers try something (and I have seen at least a dozen tries over two games), they are foiled every time.  Maybe there is a bug somewhere that doubles the chances of (or sets it to 100%) failed sabotage?

I also could not think of a successful incident, so, curiosity piqued, I went code diving! And in LuddicPathCellsIntel, I find this:
Code: java
	protected boolean checkSuccess() {
float pSuccess = 1f - market.getStabilityValue() * 0.5f;
return random.nextFloat() < pSuccess;

Is that suppose to be a 0.05f?

I see it intermittently as well. And a possibly related issue where some ally ships in station battles will stay rooted in place one large square south of the station.

A related problem to this is that the AI does not try to manage CR (and low CR ships can be very bad at retreating). I've had long battles with large allied fleets involved where by the end of the battle there were a dozen or more 0 CR frigates drifting about the battlefield.

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 23, 2019, 09:23:27 AM »
Watching a friend stream first Starsector adventures, I've noticed one thing that's a minor annoyance to me being a bit more of a usability issue for someone who doesn't know what's going on - right clicking stars on the map sets autopilot for the actual star. Setting autopilot to go to the inner system jump point instead of the star itself would be a much more useful behavior

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 22, 2019, 07:13:12 PM »
I picked up intel from salvaging a ship (in hyperspace near a core world) about a derelict in the Naraka system... I shouldn't have, right? Those derelicts don't persist, do they?

Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: May 22, 2019, 06:49:28 PM »
Re: travelling to distant colonies - I think simulation speed in Hyperspace could stand to be increased at least 50% or so; right now we have two speeds: always too slow and usually too slow.

Re: distant colonies in general - last game I made a colony in a far corner of the map. It was... disappointing. It had none of the upsides I had hoped for (Pirates & Pathers don't consider 30+ LY travel to harass your colonies a bother at all), and the severe downside of unpleasant travel times was compounded by very nearly every Bar cargo mission encounter wanting to ship out to your remote colony.

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