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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Painting the Stars (02/07/20)

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Topics - Histidine

Pages: [1] 2 3 ... 9
Suggestions / Unify fleet points and deployment points?
« on: February 14, 2020, 06:03:10 PM »
As in, make the 'fleet pts' column in ship data have the same value as DP/supplies-to-deploy, unless a particular ship needs them to be different for whatever reason.

The issue here is that cruisers and capitals have inflated DP costs relative to their FP costs. e.g.
Wolf: 5 FP, 5 DP
Hammerhead: 10 FP, 10 DP
Eagle: 14 FP, 22 DP
Paragon: 30 FP, 60 DP

This has certain effects on the gameplay of generated fleets.

Good effects
A fleet can have more cruisers and capitals to challenge the player, without needing a disproportionate FP value on fleet generation.

Bad effects
Basically every complaint involving capital bloat in things like expedition fleets and similar mod content. In particular, I believe the FP/DP mismatch is partly responsible for that annoying difficulty spike where e.g. a 150k named bounty can have one capital, but a 300k bounty has like six.

It also leads to strange autoresolve results, as in "it only takes three Hammerheads to match a Paragon?" I think this includes pursuit autoresolve, which would be an area where the discrepancy has direct (albeit minor) effects on the player.

Lastly it just seems to complicate stuff needlessly for modders and in discussions where backend values are relevant.

That said, I'm assuming the separate values weren't just introduced on a whim. Alex, I'd be interested in hearing what the original rationale was? Then we can talk about whether the good outweighs the bad.

Bug Reports & Support / [0.9.1a] CTD on clicking name in NGC dialog (minor)
« on: February 14, 2020, 05:06:40 PM »
Random discovery: When you start a new game and get to the part where you select your skills, you can click your character name as you would in campaign to rename the character. However, actually trying this causes a CTD.

128562 [Thread-4] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain  - java.lang.NullPointerException
at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.c.??0000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.c.actionPerformed(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.newnew.buttonPressed(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.I.?00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.I.processInput(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.ui.O0Oo.o00000(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.BaseGameState.traverse(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.state.AppDriver.begin(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain.main(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$ Source)
at Source)

Bug Reports & Support / [0.9.1a RC8] Commission doesn't pay bounty money
« on: February 08, 2020, 12:41:38 AM »
When you kill enemy ships while commissioned, the commission intel claims it pays credits for those ships but does not actually do so. I looked in FactionCommissionIntel and there appears to be no attempt at adding the credits to player cargo.

I suspect it went unnoticed for so long because the amount is usually small and easily covered up by the credits recovered from "CPU cores" in the fleet interaction dialog if you don't pay attention to the actual amounts. However, today someone posted this on Discord:

Suggestions / UI/text suggestions (intel, economy)
« on: January 26, 2020, 12:23:27 AM »
Important intel cleanup
Issue I see sometimes on Discord: newbie can't figure out how to get rid of already-completed intel items clogging the list in their intel screen. (Nexerelin makes it worse by adding certain events that are marked important)

Perhaps there should be a button at the top of the list when the Important tag is selected: "Remove X completed items"?

Clarifying how commodity supply/demand works
Replace some texts:

e.g. in the Colony Info screen's commodity tooltip, replace "Maximum demand" with "Demand level"
and "profitably exporting X units of <commodity>" with "profitably exporting <commodity> at level X"
and likewise for all similar texts in the game; e.g. accessibility tooltip reads "Same-faction imports and exports limited to level X"

This reduces the number of things that imply commodity supply/demand amounts are additive (e.g. 3 demand + 5 demand + 8 demand from different industries/colonies = 16 demand) when they really aren't at all.
(The other big thing that does this is market share/export income, which I think should also be changed but doing this has gameplay effects that need to be considered)

Suggestions / Fix ally fleets letting enemy go when joining battle
« on: January 03, 2020, 03:44:07 AM »
Recent complaint in Nexerelin thread:

I'm running into an annoying bug, a bug as I see it. Hegemony pickets are attacking Skathi. It has a low tech orbital station. When the pickets are engaged in battle, I click on them to join battle, but I keep getting the message that the orbital station is letting them go and I can only leave the dialogue. The pickets then fly around a bit but keep coming back to the station and the station is apparently letting them go each time I try to engage the pickets while they are engaged with the station.
This is indeed annoying when it happens.

Two things that could be done:
  • If the allies decide to let the enemies go, perhaps the player should have an option to pursue alone.
  • If the allies let the enemies go and player doesn't/can't pursue, the existing battle should break up (then the player can personally chase the enemy fleet(s) down on campaign layer, or they'll at least run away and go somewhere else). That's kind of what it means when the enemy fleet is allowed to leave, after all. (nvm, it already works this way in vanilla)

Bug Reports & Support (modded) / [0.9.1a] Admiral AI crash
« on: November 21, 2019, 03:46:48 AM »
From Nexerelin thread:

Got a c2d, not sure if it's related to Nex but it happened during a defense of one of my planets from a Hegemony invasion fleet so I figured I'd post it here. 

4646281 [Thread-4] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain  - java.lang.NullPointerException
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatFleetManager$O0.getLocation(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.tasks.CombatTaskManager.computeEta(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.tasks.CombatTaskManager.fillTasks(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.tasks.CombatTaskManager.return(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.tasks.CombatTaskManager.reassignPlayerShipsOnly(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.tasks.CombatTaskManager.addTask(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.tasks.CombatTaskManager.addTask(Unknown Source)
at Source)
at Source)
at Source)
at Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatFleetManager.advance(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatEngine.advanceInner(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatEngine.advance(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatState.traverse(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.state.AppDriver.begin(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain.main(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$ Source)
at Source)
4646397 [Thread-10] INFO  sound.oo0O  - Creating streaming player for music with id [faction_hegemony_encounter_02_hostile.ogg]
4646397 [Thread-10] INFO  sound.null  - Playing music with id [faction_hegemony_encounter_02_hostile.ogg]

This happened when I aided my star fortress against an invasion fleet, there were about 6 of them. When I won, I immediately engaged the remainders of the fleet, and the c2d happened. 

Current modlist:
  "Another Portrait Pack -ReWork-",
  "aaCari UIl",

Suggestions / Legendary officers
« on: October 26, 2019, 06:46:48 AM »
A way to get some of the famous named characters in the lore into the game. Mods could add their own, too.
Recruiting a legendary officer would require the player to meet stringent conditions: completing a specific quest, having a commission if applicable, and having a high reputation with that faction.

Some proposed rules:
  • Legendary officers do not count towards the player's officer cap
  • Player can have only one LO at a time
  • LOs can level higher than regular officers, and perhaps also come with fleetwide skills
  • Story point stuff: LOs automatically have one or more skills (perhaps all) at elite level, and cannot have their personality changed

Suggestions / Codex refurbishment suggestions
« on: September 07, 2019, 04:44:20 AM »
Some quick ideas on what I want the future reworked codex to look like:

New content
By default, codex might benefit from having the following sections:
- Factions
- Gameplay tutorials/help (e.g. it might give a brief description of how armor works)
- General lore
- Maybe: industries, campaign abilities, commodities, special items

It should be possible to bring up codex from most places, and there should be a mod API to do this.
Among other things, I almost never read the extended descriptions of mod weapons, because that would require me to specifically exit the refit/store screen and go into the codex.

Mods should be able to define their own codex categories and entries, with entries generated through a TooltipMakerAPI.
It should also be possible for this custom entry to show/hide itself depending on data in the current save, or stored in common data.

This would be particularly helpful for explaining new gameplay features, storing bits of lore, etc.

Suggestions / Split escort orders
« on: July 12, 2019, 08:36:32 PM »
Recently an experienced player complained on Discord about a case where a Lasher escorting an unshielded mod carrier failed to protect it from a unidirectional threat and let it die instead. The old escort order might have prevented this.

Other people noted that as it is, whether in 0.8 or 0.9, the Escort order's behavior only covers one use case for "ship A follows ship B", when multiple such broad cases exist. There's also the issue of the tooltip not being able to communicate all the subtleties and not-so-subtleties of its behavior (again a problem with both old and new Escort).

On the other hand, we also don't want to increase the complexity the player is presented with more than necessary.

On the third hand, not having specific options to "do this particular thing" also adds complexity except in a worse way: it makes the player employ weird workarounds to get the behavior they want (one example mentioned was using an Escort order to keep ships together till they encounter an enemy, then cancelling it to let them fight independently).

To that end, I think the following would help:

1) Split Escort order into three orders, covering the broad use cases:
  • Escort: Focus on covering target's flanks and rear, but default to attacking if this is not needed. Like the current behavior but with some tweaks.
  • Screen: Previous version's escort behavior; allow the screener to take shots for the screenee. Should be default assignment when the target ship is civilian or a non-combat carrier.
  • Assist/Accompany: Follow target ship around on a short leash and perhaps try to attack its selected target, but otherwise act independently.
2) Instead of right-clicking instantly applying the default command, make it open a context menu with the available commands.
(This would also help with the thing when I try to give a combat carrier an Eliminate order but it gets Fighter Strike instead and I have to manually change it)

3) (Maybe) Remove heavy escort, because it just clutters the UI right now. I've never encountered a case where any vanilla or mod ship needs that much stern-covering, and if it does the player can just manually assign more ships to the medium escort.

4) Regardless of whether any of the above ideas are implemented, Escort order should be added to fleet command tutorial.

Suggestions / My 0.9(.1) suggestions
« on: July 02, 2019, 05:14:56 AM »
I argued against someone else's ridiculous rationale for it in another thread, but there is a balance problem with the degree to which a spaceport is a market's Achilles heel. Among other things, when you have a choice to disrupt
1) Spaceport
2) Literally any other structure or industry on the market

then 1 is almost always the objectively superior choice, because it is effectively equivalent to disrupting all the other industries as well; they can neither import needed raw materials nor export their output.
In fact, raiding the spaceport can be cheaper and better for lowering a market's defenses than using a tactical bombardment (especially when preparing for an invasion in Nexerelin, where you'd like to be able to use the defense buildings afterwards). This is especially true given the severity of commodity deficits on the military base/orbital station/ground defenses' stability bonus: 1 point shortage = -1 loss of bonus, rather than being pro-rated or such.

I'd recommend lowering the -100% no-spaceport penalty to -50%, which is what I've set it to in Nex. The spaceport is still perhaps a more attractive target than it should be, but its disruption isn't utterly debilitating to the affected market, as it can still import a small amount of commodities in-faction.

Luddic Church, independents' heavy industry
(mentioned here before but I think it went unnoticed)
I get that they needed heavy industry to enable the player to raid for their blueprints, and to make their ship quality not abysmal. But was it really desirable to give them both an Orbital Works with corrupted nanoforge? That puts them on par with Tri-Tachyon (which is supposed to be the second-tier industrial power in the Sector). I'd either take away the nanoforge or downgrade the industry to Heavy Industry.

Small synchrotron cores
Poorly thought out idea:

Synchrotron cores are important for the player to be able to access, but may be a bit too common as a jackpot item at present. Also, unlike nanoforges, there's no granularity between no bonus item and the +3 bonus item.
I was thinking we could have a "synchrotron sub-core" item that gives a +1 bonus, and when you have a number (3-5) you can combine them into the full-scale core. The full core could be made very rare in exploration, but you could still raid for one, or just accumulate sub-cores in the course of normal exploration.

Ships on open market and black market
People have pointed out the narratively improbable degree to which you can find military-grade ships up to battleships, often pristine or nearly so, outside the military submarket (including on stability 10 black markets). (famous illustration here)

It's nice to be able to buy good ships, but the current state may be taking it too far. Among other things, commissions become meaningless for acquiring ships (since everything in the military submarket can be procured elsewhere for a fraction of the effort) and serve largely as a source of cash income.

Idea: ship availability on open market is limited to lower-FP ships within that size class, adjusted by number of D-mods and things like Civ-grade Hull. So pristine Falcons or degraded Auroras might infrequently show up, but not stuff like intact Dooms. For black markets, the limit would work similarly but be tied to local stability (lower stability = more chance of high-end military stuff "disappearing" from official inventories).

Hegemony inspection and changing hostility state
There's an issue involving the following scenario:
- Hegemony is hostile to player
- Hegemony launches inspection, action is fixed at "resist" so player takes no action
- Player stops being hostile to Hegemony
- Action now defaults to "cooperate"
- Player doesn't notice until inspection comes and goes, "WTF my cores!!!"

Not sure how to solve this, perhaps the default hostile state should be remembered when the event is started while Hegemony is hostile?

Core world procgen planets should be less good
Otherwise you have weird cases where factions haven't colonized highly attractive locations in their own systems. This also applies to Duzahk, which often has a terran-grade world in it that the player would have to be nuts not to settle at first opportunity.

There are still some revealed cases (and who knows how many undetected ones) where new players don't know that Dedicated Targeting Core/Integrated Targting Unit are almost mandatory for cruisers and capitals. I think the only place this is even explained are in the hullmod's tooltips, which you certainly can't count on people reading.

Idea: If you refit a cruiser or capital and it doesn't have DTC/ITU, display a help popup explaining that they probably should be fitted outside of certain specialized builds (like how there's a popup if you've changed the weapon loadout without changing weapon groups). Then we just have to hope the player doesn't close it without reading.

Pirate Activity condition tooltip should display actual base's location if known
Currently it just always says "The pirates most likely have a base somewhere relatively nearby." (even when the base is not actually nearby, as per the intel text)

In this screenshot, I earlier had an Eliminate order on the destroyer indicated by the red arrow. I cancelled it, and everyone fell back to the Defend order, except the SO Enforcer (XIV) shown which continues pursuing the target. This apparently persisted until the target was destroyed or retreated (didn't see which).
Officer personality was Aggressive

I've encountered at least one other case of a ship ignoring orders which might have been this bug, but I don't remember for certain.

Codex hulls
Codex variants (correct)
Bounty preview

The codex hull issue is probably unavoidable at present given how modules are part of the variant, but it may be something the future codex redesign wants to deal with. One idea: take the first goal variant found, strip its weapons, fighters and hullmods, and display that.

For the bounty one, is it because the fleet hasn't been inflated yet?

Modding / Bug: Non-economy market cloning [0.9.1a RC8]
« on: June 05, 2019, 04:21:33 AM »
If you store a not-in-economy market as a variable anywhere, it gets "cloned" on save, so now there are two markets with the same ID.

To see this:
- Start new game
- Go to Duzahk, interact with Druj
- With interaction dialog open, enter in console:
runcode Global.getSector().getPersistentData().put("random_string_123", Global.getSector().getCampaignUI().getCurrentInteractionDialog().getInteractionTarget().getMarket());
- Save copy

The first save's descriptor.xml has one <market> with id market_duzahk2, the second has two. The new entry is 69 lines log (while the original one is 15 lines), containing additional tags like market size, demandPriceMod, supplyPriceMod, isPlanetConditionMarketOnly, playerOwned, ...

I encountered this bug while making an NPC colonization fleet event; if the player saves the game after the event starts but before it completes, when the colonization occurs the planet will still appear to be uncolonized when the player interacts with it (because the "cloned" market was added to the economy while the original was not).
I'm currently trying to work around this by not storing any references to the target not-in-economy market in the intel class, instead getting it from the planet entity each time using SectorEntityToken.getMarket().

Seen with Hegemony inspection event targeting a hyperspace market (Prism Freeport in Nexerelin):

2926473 [Thread-4] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain - java.lang.ClassCastException: com.fs.starfarer.campaign.Hyperspace cannot be cast to com.fs.starfarer.api.campaign.StarSystemAPI
java.lang.ClassCastException: com.fs.starfarer.campaign.Hyperspace cannot be cast to com.fs.starfarer.api.campaign.StarSystemAPI
at com.fs.starfarer.api.impl.campaign.fleets.RouteLocationCalculator.findJumpPoint ToUse(
at reateInspection(
at reateInspection(
at heckInspection(
at dvance(
at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.CampaignEngine.advance(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.CampaignState.advance(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.BaseGameState.traverse(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.state.AppDriver.begin(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain.main(Unknown Source)
at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$ Source)
at Source)

I got a deterioration warning for Asharu. This was followed by the actual decivilization in 1 week (according to the intel objects' timestamps).
A few other markets in my sector also only got 2 week warnings:
- Garnir warned 24 Jul, decivilized 5 Aug
- Lost Astropolis warned 30 Dec, decivilized 15 Jan
- Tibicena warned 25 Apr, decivilized 5 May

I then colonized Asharu. The new colony re-decivilized within 3 days or less.

I can upload the save if needed (only non-utility mod is Nexerelin).

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