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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20); Blog post: GIF Roundup (04/11/20)

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Topics - Regularity

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Suggestions / Faction Relations Hits & Trading
« on: November 09, 2014, 04:41:12 PM »
In my opinion, I think there should be a more restrictive hard cap on minimum and maximum reputation hits. The particular event that brought this about was after getting in good with the Independent faction by saving multiple colonies from starvation, I bought some large weapons on the black market, which after an investigation tanked my standing by -85 to make it inhospitable. In other words, I had saved millions of the faction's citizens, but one illegal trading scandal had made them completely forget about it.  ::)

I've noticed similarly disproportionate reputation hits from being found guilty during food shortage investigation events, even when I had not caused the shortage (or alternatively, did so accidentally by buying all the food on one planet to feed a starving planet elsewhere in the same system).

On the other side of the coin, there seems to be a hard cap for positive reputation for trading -- even when relieving a starving population -- at about 50 points. It strikes me as a bit odd that killing a faction's Most Wanted Criminal can eventually raise you to 100 points, but saving millions of lives stops generating goodwill at 50 points.

So I would make a few suggestions:
- Add a hard cap on the reputation hit for investigation blame events. It doesn't seem consistent if buying 2 illegal weapons nets you a slap-on-the-wrist, but buying 10 illegal weapons gets you banned from a faction's planets entirely.
- Allow trading to boost reputation up to 100. After all, if a particular merchant handles millions of credits of contracts in a faction, you'd think he'd be able to have a little clout (campaign donations to politicians, bribery for officials, etc).
- Potentially add an option to donate (or at-cost) food during food shortage events. Players could forgo profit in exchange for a much larger reputation boost, and grant immunity to food shortage investigation events. Perhaps expanding on this idea of buying reputation, maybe each faction could have a way to be bribed. (Bribe Hegemony politicans, Sindrian Diktat junta officers, fund the construction of Luddic megachurches, offer lucrative discounts to Tri-Tachyon traders, etc). But this might be getting off-topic.

General Discussion / Lack of Game Publicity?
« on: November 08, 2014, 05:17:02 PM »
I've always been a big space sim fan, and every once in a while when I'm bored I'll attempt to delve into game databases or recommendation lists for increasingly older, more obscure titles when I've played my fill of the ones I have. However, I didn't discover Starsector until very recently, which I found rather surprising given, what seems to me, relatively high production quality. The game is not listed on Steam Greenlight, on Wikipedia, and there seems to be virtually no press coverage since 2012 (which was minimal to begin with), even among the sort of game sites which normally cover smaller PC game development. There also seems to be little mention of it on other game-related forums that I've been able to find.

This genuinely baffles me given that other games, particularly ones that have been rushed to completion or were of generally buggy and lower-quality, have managed to garner more publicity than this game. Additionally, this game seems to have a very active modding and forum community, in fact it's probably one of the largest and most active I've seen outside a multi-million dollar game production. This only makes the lack of outside publicity even more confusing.

So, my question is, has there been any particular reason for this? Was it because of the game's name change from "Starfarer"? Is it just because game development has been going extremely slow? (I've noticed there have been gaps in release timestamps sometimes upwards of six months, and even a one year gap between 0.65 and 0.62, but I'm not sure if that's just because the way patch releases were merged/recorded...) Or have the developers just not been actively seeking publicity/hype until they feel its fully complete? Or something else I'm missing?

General Discussion / Balancing: Do frigates render fighters worthless?
« on: November 06, 2014, 11:49:43 AM »
I'm sure most of us have by now reached the end-game, wherein we graduate from our frigate fleets to mightier vessels. But one common problem when moving up a pay grade like this is that it becomes harder to catch fleeing vessels in combat. Your big, shiny new ship is sure tough, but also quite slow. Initially I kept my old frigate fleet around in reserve and used them to hunt-down fleeing transports and the like. But once I'd saved up enough cash, I decided to upgrade to a carrier and fighter support. However, I soon realized that fighters weren't all what I thought they would be... it almost feels like they are effectively just another class of frigate. A much crappier one at that.

Fighters seem to have roughly the same initial cost, same burn speed, same combat speed... but generally inferior offence and defence. You might suspect that they have a "hidden" defence bonus because they move faster than frigates, and therefore can dodge fire -- but that point is moot if you use high-end frigates like the Wolf, whose combined combat speed, teleport, and longer-ranged guns lets it dodge fire better than any fighter (but with much heavier shielding and armament than fighters). Initially I thought their inferior combat ability would be compensated for by using them with a carrier, you know, so that instead of a good ship with a single life (frigates) you'd get bad ships that could die over and over (fighters).

Then I looked at the heavy fuel and supply demand of fighters+landing bays (the carrier's upkeep costs divided by the number of landing bays), and found the results surprising. While the per-unit cost of a fighter with landing bay had roughly the same per-unit fuel costs as frigates, they consumed far more logistics (works out to ~4-7 supplies/daily per fighter with landing bay, compared to 1-2 supplies/daily with frigates). So the frigates are more combat-worthy, AND cheaper to maintain? Even if fighters can be re-spawned for "free", their increased daily supply cost means that for the same price tag, you could afford replacing the occasional frigate without losing money.

Anyways, that's my review of the fighter, and why I'll probably never use them again until they're rebalanced. It's worth noting that I'm still a fairly new player to the game, so please feel free to point out any oversights I may have made. I genuinely love the concept of fighters and carriers in space sims (I mean, who doesn't? They're as iconic to space sims as the battleship) but I feel like they're simply worthless for anyone who wants to squeeze the most combat ability out of their fleet.

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