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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Personal Contacts (08/13/20)

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Topics - Agile

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1
General Discussion / Market Limits
« on: May 05, 2020, 09:30:02 PM »
I believe that Markets need a limit.

What do I mean by this? Right now, you can sell any item, any quantity of said item, to any market in any world with nothing to stop you. You could, figuratively speaking, flood an entire market with huge amounts of goods you don't need since you just blew up a pirate base, and that planet will accept the goods, no matter the volume.

This, I believe, is bad as it introduces "metagame" plays and bad design such as selling huge amounts of loot to planets / pirate stations then blowing them up when realistically they'd never take that much loot, or planets always printing out vast amounts of money in the form of shortages.

I believe that markets, in order to be more organic in the game, need "limits".

For example, a level 3 planet will have an X amount of cash it can spend in the market; lets say the cap is theoretically 1 million credits. When you sell to the market, it uses this limit to determine whether it can pay you, the player. For example, lets say the market on this level 3 planet has a shortage of 1000 recreational drugs; you fill that shortage and get 500k credits. Now this planet has a coffer of 500k credits left to give. If you do not buy anything from this planet, the coffer remains at a static 500k.

Lets say you then decide to sell a bunch of junk that is worth another 500k to this planet. Then you try to sell some more; you are unable to and all sell options are then removed because there is 0 credits in this market place. You must now either buy from the market to replenish the credits the planet has (for a total cap of 1 million credits since its a level 3 planet), or you must way for 1 ingame month.

Every ingame month, an X percentage of the markets full worth is regenerated. For example, lets say every month 10% of the total market comes back. In this case, every month 100k is brought back into THIS specific planets coffers. This prevents the abuse of low level / low stability planets constantly being money printers because now they have both a soft cap (percentage based being brought back every month) and hard cap (x amount of money per level of planet).

You can still make money but it is much harder as markets are less exploitable through raiding / infinite loops of cash due to level 3 pirates in the system constantly raiding and somehow said planets having infinite cash to pay off all the exorbitant prices you charge them to fix their shortages.

2
Suggestions / Milk Run Failures
« on: September 16, 2019, 05:11:57 AM »
I have a suggestion to make the "milk run" bar missions, where you ferry goods for people, less punishing. What I mean by that is sometimes there is literally NO WAY you can do a mission; by that I mean you get to the drop off point, and its a pirate base. You get attacked by a pirate fleet, and are forced to fight because you are unable to disengage as you have a huge fleet.

You win but now the station refuses to trade with you, so you cannot make your delivery, and now your ***.

Why do I say this? Because now a max strength death fleet bounty hunter will prepare to come after you and dunk on your day because you can't do the now impossible delivery mission and inevitably fail.

What I think would be good is if, like when you can't hand in your payment for the Tri Tachyon loans and ask for more time, you  can do two things:

"I can't do this delivery"
"I need more time to do this delivery"

The first one makes you lose 10 rep with independents, the other one makes you lose 5 but gives you an extra 60 days. It makes the delivery missions make sense (because sometimes you literally cannot do their mission due to this or that reason and have to abort). And would make sense in a lore sense; why would you send a max strength death fleet against the guy who is 100/100 Cooperative reputation with Independents and is known to have a good track record with deliveries but just can't make your delivery?

3
Suggestions / Commisions Reloaded; How Commissions Should Really Work
« on: August 29, 2019, 08:40:14 PM »
So I saw a thread up talking about commisissions and how in their current state they are basically free money and not very intuitive.

Well, I have an idea, based on what was talked about, to make Commisions actually do what they are supposed to do: force you to fight your factions enemies.

For starters:

- Base commission pay is removed or made subsidy base. Only enough to pay for your supply usage, and thats it. Should be easy to calculate; commision would be based on your supplies a day used times how many days there are in the current month, payed out at the end of the month.
- Enemy frigate bounty is upped to be more like bounty pay.

This isn't the end of the rework to commissions, however. With a commission, you get access to:

- Faction specific bounties. Instead of pirate bounties, you get random bounties of your factions enemies. They will be located in CORE WORLDS instead of in the outer rim, and pay out better, but would be more difficult because half the bounties will be in systems controlled by enemy factions (hence you have to sneak a lot then move in for the kill or be too big to fail).
- Faction bounties scale based on your REPUTATION with your commissioned faction, and your fleet composition. If you have a high reputation, you get higher paying bounties in systems that are semi-friendly to you. For example, you are Hegemony commissioned and are enemies with Tri Tachyon but you are Cooperative reputation with Hegemony. You get a faction bounty for a enemy fleet the same size as you BUT its located in a system with a Hegemony colony AND a Tri Tachyon colony (so you get backup).

If your rep is lower, however, you get more dangerous bounties (to prove yourself) with a mix of less dangerous but much less lucrative bounties (to gain enough cash to be able to do more dangerous bounties). These lesser bounties will be orders to hit enemy faction trade convoys; they will be found via the below new feature described below.

The next one, however, is a game changer:

- Faction commissions in times of war give you comm sniffer access (which is unrevokable unlike comm sniffers that have a chance of being removed) to a random amount of enemy factions systems. The explanation behind this is that you get access to your factions spy network, aka their hard coded back doors and secret informants, allowing you to choose your battles against your factions enemies. The higher your reputation, the more enemy system's comms you have access to. This is capped, however, so that you don't abuse it by taking a commission, going to war with all factions, and hence getting access to all their comms.

The way this works is if your at war with only one faction, and your at Cooperative with your faction, you have access to ALL of the enemy factions system comms. However, if your faction is at war with 2 factions, you only get half of EACH. This is explained away with "stretched resources"; your faction can't moniter everything through its spy networks.


This suggestion forces you to actually work for your money (like a real commission; your a made man for the military of your faction, not a freelancer loafing off of them), but also gives you perks for being part of the faction besides military markets. The payouts for actually fighting (which is the point of the game; conflict) are huge while doing nothing would barely cover your costs. And it gives the player the tools necessary to fight his commissioned factions enemies instead of just handing him money and pointing him at a enemy, hoping he'd help them.

4
General Discussion / Raids make little sense
« on: August 12, 2019, 04:52:22 PM »
Heya!

So, after trying my hand at colony making, ive started to know how and when to build colonies, how to build them to avoid dying early, etc.

Something that doesn't make sense to me, however, is the consequences and rewards, and the lore behind raids.

I might be rambling but why do PIRATES, of all things, create mega deathballs to attack colonies? Pirates, in my view, are mostly desperate people with no where to turn; much like in the tutorial, they are miners down on their luck, mercs with outstanding debts that turn to banditry to resolve it, or done by opportunistic criminals who think they can get away with it. These type of people do not tend to field large fleets or have the resources for such fleets, nor do they have the industry to sustain it.

Yet the pirates that attack me after a few months are just as bad if not WORSE than expeditions (which ill get back to soon). Not only does this not make sense lore wise (why are pirates even better military than age old factions?), how are they SUPPORTING these fleets? None of these pirate bases have an inkling of good industry, and most of them would take heavy losses attacking core worlds as core worlds are CORE for a reason; they are controlled by large factions with heavy pockets and massive fleets.

I understand pirates attacking me when im a puny 3 colony, maybe up to 4, but why are they attacking me when I have HEAVY BATTERIES, HIGH COMMAND, level 6 colony, and a massive fleet? They should be looking for other tactics. I know the excuse for this is "colonies are there for combat" but I have a solution that both makes sense AND is more fun to fight, but ill get to this soon.

Now to continue my rant, why do expeditions travel HUNDREDS of light years in MASSIVE fleets just to attack me, a guy minding his own business? Id understand if the expeditions were a) small, or b) because I have hostilities with them, but I am neutral if not IN GOOD STANDING with the HEGEMONY and they keep sending fleets against me. And there is no way to stop them unless I download mods like Nexer that lets me do a cease fire / alliance.

Not only should core factions not be sending expeditions (especially when they are at war against someone else) against the player unless they are hostile to said faction, the expeditions need to be drastically cut down to be more reasonable and realistic, with actual supply routes / ships factored in.

Now, my solution to the "colonies are there for you to be forced to fight" problem while fixing the "pirates are unrealistically powerful and sometimes even better than core factions if left alone" problem.

Once you get level 6 colony, you will be warned by a "cryptic warning beacon" or by a "shady man at the bar" of a "possible alien incursion" in 120 days. After 120 days, you will be invaded... by the Remnants!

You will get raided by them more, and faster, the farther you are away from the core worlds (which gives a in-universe reason as to why most of the major factions are in fighting instead of colonizing like you; because they know this hidden but open secret about the Remnants. This also explains all the ruins out in space and why you constantly get survey missions; you are fodder to detect if Remnant fleets are getting closer or farther from the Core Worlds and how powerful they are, and also explains how Warning Beacons became a thing.)

This gives a decent window (4-6 level) in your colony size for you to make cash, get a pristine nanoforge on a orbital works so you can build decent ships and weapons, and be prepared for the "threat".

This also gives a plausible and actual consequence to using AI cores; the more AI cores you use, the faster the Remnants locate and attack you. I don't consider Pathers or Hegemony inspections an actual threat to AI use, since one of them can be waited out, the other can be bribed.

Remnant expeditions will not appear from a pre-made base; they will only happen from medium beacon systems (colony 6-8 level) and red beacon systems (colony 9-10 level). This also lets you end the threat of the Remnants by wiping out their bases; but be careful, this might trigger "unexpected consequences".

Spoiler
If you have an AI core as an admin in any of your colonies, they will "rebel" out of fear that you will destroy them next out of your hatred of the Remnants, which will automatically convert your colony into a red level remnant fortress. Another possible consequence of using an Alpha AI core.
[close]

While we are on this topic, maybe one of the consequences of trying to remove your Alpha AI core as a admin is they'll send a special distress signal out into space, much like a Distress Signal, except it can only be heard by Remnant forces. This only happens if you continue to remove the core even after its attempts at black mailing you.

Anyway, im done rambling, I kinda just had random ideas pop up as I was ranting about inconsistent raids and lore. Thanks if you read this far.

5
General Discussion / "Starbases"
« on: August 12, 2019, 04:08:47 PM »
Hey guys, Ssethtider here.

Im curious, ive been going through and reading about other games similar to this after starting to play Starsector and have gotten far in Starsector itself, and I stumbled upon a concept called "Starbases" in Stellaris.

For those who eventually start your colonies, the equivalent of a "star base" are pirate bases that pop up; they never colonize the actual planet, they just "pop up" a lv-1 orbital station (that gradually grows if you don't kill it).

Why does the PLAYER not have this feature? It would be an excellent way to phase in from early to mid game, when you have too much stuff on you but don't want to pay factions for their storage, while also wanting to have a place to call your own as a mini-base. The mini-base can be built at any stable location (giving more reason to use them outside of comm relay and stable locations are sometimes in systems with no planets). The "starbase" would have a built in way station / space port but nothing else, and nothing money making can be built on it; its basically the equivalent of a pop-up colony except without having to build a colony.

That or orbital stations can be built anywhere a planet is but doesn't turn into a colony; maybe 50 plutonics, 500 metal, and 200 crew + 100 heavy machinery?

These so called "star bases" would not be raided, or they'd be raided only by low tier desperados, instead of full on bases; this would also serve as a "tutorial" phase for people wanting to start up colonies.

As someone who loves the exploration and lore parts of the game but dislikes the babysitting of colonies till they are all high tier (high command + 2 military bases on separate colonies, orbital works with pristine nanoforge at minimum on best low hazard world to survive most threats) I think this would be a great compromise and teaching tool.

TL;DR orbital stations that are mini-colonies mainly used for storage / waystation, and phasing into learning colony mechanics instead of jumping right into it and dying to unprepared things such as massive pirate bases, expeditions, pathers, etc.

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