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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

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Topics - Deshara

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1
Suggestions / kill officer aggressiveness
« on: February 12, 2019, 12:09:26 AM »
kill it, replace it with a series of toggles. Maybe make officers inherit sets of available options for those toggles and then let the player pick new ones to unlock as said officer levels up, and have the Command HQ unlock the ability to customize presets that will spawn at your market.
Obviously this would have to be done to coincide with a rework of the AI & would have to be one of the final features added into the game since AI is a system that touches on most other mechanics, but there's so many edge-cases where one-size-fits-all that I think there's a case to be made for preset AI suites being axed.

For example; does this ship count its PD weapons as weapons or defenses? Does this ship join its fighters missiles & close support in the fray or merely deploy them? When escorting a bigger ship, does this ship merely lend it close support, take cover in its shadow or join the fight? When escorting a faster ship should this one try to keep up or automatically issue a sub-order for the target ship to escort it to stay together? Should this ship use its missiles for finishing or as close support? Should this ship manually use one of its weapongroups of non-PD guns against missiles or never? Should this ship save its ship system offensively or save it for escaping? Should this ship leave the combat zone once its out of limited use weapons and systems or not? Should this ship use its armor to press an advantage or never? Should this ship die for the cause or live to see another day? Should this ship avoid pressing the advantage on an enemy surrounded by backup or brave the danger for glory? Should this ship prefer to run down slower and weakened enemies or focus on the battle? Should this ship place the salad fork on the left napkin or right napkin? Does this ship use its HE payload to overload shields when it can or save them for after the overload? Does this ship prefer coke or pepsi? Should this ship consider its missiles fighters & close support to be its primary armament or use everything non-PD for ranging or is it primarily here to screen missiles & fighters?

2
Suggestions / Black Hole Visual Update
« on: January 15, 2019, 10:50:59 PM »
black holes don't look like a black orb. I'm sure you know this; for those who don't they're a distortion in the sky, a spot where a star isn't that grows and consumes all the light the closer you get to it.

It's extremely hard to depict in film or photography -- the fixed and static depictions make showing how different it is, the way the sky gets blacked out gradually. This game tho, could easily use the distortion effect that the enhanced graphics suite uses to apply a distortion affect to ship explosions to replace the "black star" graphic for black holes with a single black point, that gets distorted into being larger and larger the closer you get to it with the background it's blocking out being flattened into a ring that's squashed around the growing void, with the "event horizon" terrain being applied once the blacked-out sky takes up half the screen with your own fleet becoming a part of the distortion ring with a mirrored version of yourself on the far side of the ring

3
Suggestions / Alternate Mini-Sectors
« on: December 31, 2018, 03:50:59 AM »
Heroes of the Storm (three-lane MOBA with maps with five or more merc camps, bosses, healing zones inside the bases and objectives) has a Brawl mode where you load into a mini-map with a single lane, no objectives no bosses no healing -- all adjusted to procure constant, non-stop action.
This game could rock the same sort of deal.
A small sector map with a core of extremely populated systems where the only two factions are independents and pirates who actively, aggressively go out of their way to stamp down anyone who tries to build anything up.
A one-system map of the Valhalla system during all-out war between the Hegemony and Tritach, with both sides pouring constant resources into the system and the player being locked to Vengeful for both sides unless they take a commission, where the goal of both sides is to Expedition the other side's control of the system out of existence
A medium sized randomly generated map with Luddic Church colonies in every system and Luddic Path insurrections being supported out of a hidden base that the church cannot take on from the start.
A small, uninhabited sector map where the player and a fleet for each faction proc'd spawns in with 2,000 crew and have to found a fire in the darkness, with each faction locked into war with eachother unless they expend an investment to establish peace with a specific faction.
A medium, uninhabited sector map where the player and a fleet for two factions spawn in with 2,000 crew and also a fleet of Remnant from outside the sector shows up, activates a gate in one of the systems which begins trickling remnant thru who go on to try & activate the gates in all the systems and it's your job to beat them back.
If you beat the one above, a mode where you spawn into Corvus in a Hermes, your only option with the first faction market you interact with is "take commission" & said commission grants you control of the faction as your own, two of the other factions declare war on you and a random super fleet of one of several non-playable (remnant, the other kind of remant, XIV, ludic path) factions enters the sector from outside it and activates a gate that begins trickling more thru with the goal of turning all of the gates on, linking the Corvus sector to the doomed hell-world of what (randomly) remains of the Domain of Man under the rule of one of those non-playable factions that are locked into war with the player.

Actually, shoot, the #1 problem I can think of these suggestions is that they'd make kick-butt multiplayer modes lol

with that in mind; a game mode where twelve players spawn in the core of a uninhabited sector with no combat ships but enough to colonize one or two planets. Once everyone colonizes, everybody gets a defensive fleet and free for all ensues

4
Suggestions / Idea to make Frigates Competitive
« on: December 25, 2018, 06:29:11 AM »
the Monitor is the only frigate that holds up in late-game battles. It occurs that if every frigate were given >1% hard flux discharge with shields up and 0-flux boost at >1% flux and destroyers given 1% hard flux dissipation and 0-flux at 1% flux the curve of usefulness would be flattened a little bit

edit: oh yeah and a fleet command skill that doubles this bonus in non-hullmod frigates, then triples it in destroyers and gives the 1% bonuses to Cruisers, and then in the final tier of the skill gives all frigates the ability to use all small weapons in point defense

5
Suggestions / Battlezone Control
« on: December 21, 2018, 07:28:09 PM »
I didn't see this till there were two whole pages after it so I made my own thread

Edit #2: One thing I've been thinking off, on the back-burner, is some sort of "victory point" system to replace current objectives with. It'd be more zone control than point control - maybe 1-3 zones, none of which being near the edges - which you win the battle automatically (forcing the enemy to retreat) if you control them for a fairly brief period. That would, in theory, ensure that borders come into play way less often, since whoever is at a border is going to lose if their opponent controls the center. But that wouldn't work well for remnant/derelict defenses, where the only win condition is complete destruction. Anyway, this is a bit theoretical at this point, just a possible idea I'm mulling over.

you're already halfway there, Alex, ya goof, no need for this to be its own whole thing. CR & beacons.
If you made it so that ships getting to 0% CR mothball themselves and lock themselves into retreat mode, and then made controlling 100% of the beacons on the map put all enemy ships into "enemies present; CR degrading" mode unless they're capping an uncontested control point and also maybe multiplied CR degrade rate based on the remaining ally/enemy ratio when the enemy has control of all beacons, ur exact idea would be implemented just by adjusting already existing mechanics that we've all already accepted.

6
General Discussion / Good First Impression?
« on: December 17, 2018, 09:35:26 AM »
I keep tickling people's interest in this game on random communities but then finding myself to not have a good link to give them to really capture them. I think the homepage of the actual site is a little broad-focus (the actual 90% of the gameplay (combat) gets, like, one sentence) for people who're already sold on the concept of the game, and the trailers are all alpha -- and while not bad, the latest is 3 years old and lacks some of the wow factor the game has now (depicting a wing of kites torpedoing an onslaught in the back and actually breaking it in half is an incredible visual). Put another way; there is no perfect pasta sauce, but there are perfect pasta sauces, and while this game has plenty of good beefy meaty pasta sauce, I need creamy mushroom & herb pasta sauce and am having trouble.

ANYWAY! Gimme your good, less-than 5 minute long videos to give to somebody who's already been told what this game's features are and needs to be wowwed.

7
Bug Reports & Support / Fog of War locks AI orders in
« on: December 12, 2018, 07:29:15 AM »
if you order a ship to attack a target ship, and then said target ship slips from sight you aren't allowed to cancel that order until the ship comes back into sight -- which it might never do if it flees or breaks down.
I get why this is -- you don't want placing orders on enemy ships to give away their position in the fog of war, but, I'm sure there's a way around this

8
Suggestions / Logarithmic Reputation Scaling Overhaul
« on: December 11, 2018, 01:15:12 AM »
Will result in a 5-point reputation penalty when the expedition starts
         And a 5-point penalty when it arrives in system
         No reputation penalty for fighting the expedition's fleets
         Reputation cost to avert reduced to 20 points
      Takes roughly twice as long for factions to build up towards sending an expedition
      After 2-3 expeditions are sent (total, by all factions), no expeditions will be sent for 6 to 12 months

So if you use a synchrotron you'll be at war with Syndria within a year, and the only way to prevent it is to cause hostilities with other factions so they'll max out your expeditions first?
... I'm starting to feel like it's about time for a reputation rework. I think the only major mechanic left that'll interact with it is here now and said new mechanic is getting the most weirdness from it. Maybe reputation should be made logarithmic like production & population is

What if reputation worked on a averaged Scales of Kind system the way economic production and population did, instead of a linear addition system that makes international relations weirdly arithmetic?
So your reputation with a faction works on a twenty point scale (max 10 min -10, 0 neutral) instead of a two hundred point scale, with your interactions with a faction having a pre-determined place on said scale and each point of difference on said scale being ten times difference. After ten stacks of "did ___", they get combined into a stack one "does ___" stack of the next scale up. Instead of just reputation changes bumping your reputation score in a direction, your score is instead an average of all your reputation affects made in the last month (including a saved value of your last month's final reputation that this month's works off of)

So if you start off neutral at 0 reputation with a faction, running with a transponder off & needing to be dinged for it by traffic cops gives you a "caught not using transponder" status effect with a value of -1, giving you an average reputation of -1 (inhospitable) (-1/1) for the time being. If you get hit again for running with your transponder off in a different system by the same faction, you get another "caught not using the transponder" -1 status effect in the reputation screen, which means your reputation is still a total of -1 (-1 + -1)/2 = -1) because you're still just a miscreant who doesn't follow traffic rules. If you then hit your transponder and show up to help a patrol of said faction run down pirates, you get a "aided a patrol" +2 reputation affect, which puts you at +2 total reputation because each +2 (and -2) counts as ten +1 (and -1) actions so now the average is 2 ((-1x2 + 2x10)/12) because aiding a patrol in running down pirates is way more notable than being reminded to keep your transponder on, twice.

If you get tagged for your transponder ten more times after those first two, however, somehow managing to get let off each time by doing it in a different system to a total of 12 transponder hits in one month the games takes your ten stacks of the same -1 reputation and combines them into a single -2 "refuses to use their transponder" hit, so now the reputation is -1 (-1x2 + (2x10) + (-2x10)/22) because you gaining a reputation for willfully defying their laws negates the goodwill of helping a patrol do what it was already gonna do anyway, leaving your un-negated "is still breaking traffic laws" -1's to be the remaining deciding factor.
The point here; Lets assume you hadn't helped out that patrol and your reputation is at -2 bc of your refusal to use your transponder (-1x2 + -2x10)/12). If you then get tagged by the same fleet a second time for the transponder and they go weapons hot causing you to flee without casualty giving you a -2 "fled an inspection" hit, the game doesn't drop you down to -4 (twice the actual reputation loss for fleeing an inspection, which is thus far your vastly largest interaction with the faction); you stay at -2 because your fleeing an inspection merely cements your reputation you already had as a harmless miscreant who disrespects traffic law.

The pro of this system; you can't make a faction go to war with you just by not using your transponder. You can make patrols attack you, but if you always disengage without casualty then the worst you can get is a -3 reputation from combining10 stacks of the "fled an inspection" to get one stack of "flees inspections" reputation hit. If you kill an inspection (bc your fleet is too big to flee without incident, say) but let them flee, you get a -3 reputation for it and if you keep doing it it gets rolled up into a -4 which is almost war. Which, I think, feels right; if you make the Suspicious reputation status of -4 make patrol fleets who spot you treat you as if you're hostile but the rest of the faction not unless a patrol asks them for assistance against a much larger Suspicious fleet (for example, if they tag you for transponder and then realize who you are and that you will definitely murder them without a functioning reputation loss (IE no reason not), they disengage then maintain contact with your fleet while calling for backup from a nearby larger-than-patrol military fleet to come help them with an inspection check at a much larger scale) it would work really well.
Also; engaging a faction in the warfare they throw at you doesn't flush your reputation down to the worst possible because you don't get linearly added reputation hits for each battle, without needing to contrive exceptions for it. Defending yourself from an unjustified attack could have one more reputation hit than resisting an inspection, of -4, so that doing so won't trigger a war while still affecting your reputation with that faction (because you did kill thousands of souls, regardless of whether it was technically your fault), but putting yourself into a position where you'll get unjustly attacked repeatedly (say, by contesting Syndria's fuel monopoly) and rolling a stack of "killed an expedition fleet" -4's into a stack of "kills expedition fleets" which, unless you're doing stuff to get onto Syndria's good side gives them enough excuse they need to mobilize a military offensive at your faction. And, because there's a lot more context baked into this system, instead of war just being infinite hostility forever it can be one month (at minimum) of said faction no longer needing to warn you in the intel screen that they're going to send hostile fleets your way because mobilizing a warfleet against a colony they've declared war on generates way less news coverage than mobilizing a warfleet against a colony they're at peace with -- so now instead of hitting -50 reputation being them declaring infinite all-out war forever everywhere it now feels like the faction getting *** off and mobilizing a more official version of what expeditions already are -- like Syndrian High Command gets sick of having to hear that wayward admirals went off into the outter rim and lost a whole battlefleet to a fuel-competing colony repeatedly so they took the excuse (once given it) to step in and try to remove what was causing their admirals to run off and die to stop it from happening.

9
An earthquake separated me from my windows 7 gaming PC (*shakes fist at earthquake*) and since the only thing that was on my SO's 2-in-1 was State of Decay 2 which I never got to play bc it's windows 10 exclusive (*shakes fist at windows 10 exclusivity*) and something struck me.
Spoiler
Irrelevant to the post; Actually a lot of things struck me and I've been power-writing for 36 hours a many-paragraphs long thesis paper on everything SOD2 did perfectly & other games need to copy and all the many QoL changes it needs and now that I have internet again I'll be looking up its Devs' email address, but TLDR on State of Decay 2 it's a bad game that does hybrid survival sim more flawlessly than any other game before
[close]

I noticed when enemies go to siege your colony in SOD2, the game immediately lets you know right off the bat if this is an attack that will cost you nothing to ignore.
And I love it.
I wouldn't say that SS needs to copy this, but, it re-contextualizes what is a mandatory combat mission in the early game into a pat on the head for running your base well in the late game. It says, 'hey, there's combat content back at your base if you want it but you're playing so well that we're not gonna count it against you at all if you decide you've dealt with enough sieges" and lets your work into base development pay off by having not only people at home competent to hold down the fort without you but also competent enough to tell you ahead of time that you aren't needed at home anymore.


it is a bad game tho

10
Suggestions / uses for marines
« on: November 27, 2018, 07:06:10 PM »
I have a use for marines that would be super helpful for early-game players; having marines whose wages you can afford prevents crew from deserting due to insufficient wages.

Also; having marines in your fleet after a lost fight where you lost ships and then disengaged, losing you the ability to recover said ships after the fight, pops up a screen similar to the "ship recovery" popup that allows you to allocate marines to your lost & abandoned ships to secure their hulk from breaking apart, secure its orbit so it'll remain on the map as a salvageable wreck and then prevents other factions from salvaging said floating hulk until you've had time to recoup and come back, so that losing the XIV Onslaught you found at level 3 to getting caught out by twenty dozen Ordos at the same time isn't necessarily time to reload bc you're given the option (if you kept a platoon of marines on hand to secure your assets) to come back and get it later.


Also, an engage option similar to "harry their retreat" that's useable on expeditions raiding/bombing a colony where instead of engaging the fleet in a fight you commit your marines & ground-expedition forces to countering the enemy's assault and forcing them to engage you and if they can't engage / kill your fleet and get the "clean disengage" bonus for a won fight they have their operation disrupted, forcing them to peel off of a planet, in case your fleet isn't actually big enough to run the fleet off so you have a way to still get involved by giving the planet / faction time to get a fast reaction fleet there to defend

11
I enjoy the idea of answering distress calls and understand why it works the way it does RN, being a very early-game facing mechanic.
Buut, now that I have maxed out colonies and a giant revenant fleet clogging up my storage and a secured territory that cannot be threatened and enough money to never have to worry about running out of fuel and supplies, what I really wanna do is settle down with a phaeton(?) tanker and a couple escorts and answer distress calls. If there were a building that let you pick up distress calls from across the sector and monitored comm traffic to warn you what the expected time before somebody else gets to it to let me race to answer them, helping people out and dealing with ambushes and choosing not to help out my enemies and watching their fleet flounder and break as I eat heartily in front of them, I'd enjoy that a lot.

12
my cup runneth over with synchrotrons. I'm actually not super interested in building fuel facilities (I have more synchos than I have colonies lol), but nobody will offer me more $ than the base black market price so I've taken to just... pitching them out the window like an empty fast food soda cup bc the only thing they'd be worth to me is reputation I can use to curtail Sindrian expeditions.

13
Suggestions / cant see the AI cores over the icons
« on: November 27, 2018, 06:49:07 PM »
see title, it blends in a lot. I have to mouse over every industry one by one for the popout to see which have a core bc I can't see the icon

14
Suggestions / no industries require heavy equipment?
« on: November 27, 2018, 06:48:18 PM »
aside from one that I've found. I have one factory producing heavy machinery and every other industry everywhere I can plant them and my cup still runneth over with heavy industrial equipment even tho I've almost exactly built my faction to run on a machinery deficit as I could.
That's weird. Even if it makes sense to have terrestrial industries use static facilities that don't need to be moved or replaced ever, a factory still needs forklifts and shuttles and heavy industrial packing equipment and heavy industrial de-packing equipment and a big machine that goes "ping!" in the administrator's office any time they make a profit.
And, it does make sense from a gameplay perspective to not tie the operation of every industry in the game to a single commodity that's only produced by one of them, and in that way I agree, but then consider: no industry (except for the one that produces heavy machinery) is upgradeable.

So, my suggestion; make every industry that doesn't require heavy machinery upgradeable to an industrialized version that produces the same goods on a grander scale but adds heavy machinery to the regents needed and not in a cost-effective way (so the base-gameplay remains largely the same) so the player is given the option to construct a machinery-sink, and players who plant a techmine on every ruin they can find (Hi! It me) can run their capital as extremely over-industrialized as possible, requiring heavy machinery in every facet of life and generally just running their society in a way that would make Pather heads explode and drawing increased hegemony attention bc the resource-inefficiency of the industrialized productions means a player running an over-industrialized factory world profitably is probably using AI a lot.

15
General Discussion / spaceport feedback
« on: November 27, 2018, 06:37:04 PM »
does it kind of bug anybody else how spaceports are absolutely necessary? I'm trying to build a faction empire with one super-metropolis of manufacturing & military might, fed by a string of non-spacefaring low-tech colonies who feed the capital raw resources & are otherwise entirely self-sufficient (either farming their own food, or techmining ship supplies from ruins and using an AI-assisted administrator to run the colony's infrastructure to run entirely on naval supplies instead of food and domestic goods)

but as far as I can tell no matter what I do unless I build a spaceport on every colony all of my colonies might as well not exist and just endlessly build up a stockpile of goods that won't ever be moved
It feels like, if a colony has no accessibility bc of no space port my faction's High Command should field a military mercantile expedition to empty out its stockpile once a month
Otherwise, why require a player to build a spaceport if it might as well just be built by default when founding a colony?

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