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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 - Daynen

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Suggestions / Tuning levers
« on: January 23, 2020, 12:59:13 AM »
A phrase I heard years ago while following the development of League of Legends was "tuning levers."  Riot used this phrase to describe a tool they create when they change something from binary to a more variable state.  An example was taking an ability that was formerly simply point and click and making it require aim instead.  This gave them new "levers" like projectile speed and hitbox that could then be adjusted, rather than just the final damage numbers or duration of crowd control.  This concept opens up great avenues of gameplay and development alike by allowing finer tuning and asking more impactful player choices.  Starsector could probably use a few more levers.  One in particular springs to mind at the moment: maximum fleet size.

You can have a fleet of up to 30 ships, full stop.  Why?  I haven't been here since the starfarer days so I have to wonder how we settled on this number and more importantly...why is it static?  What would the game look like if fleet cap was something that we could affect?  What if the starting maximum fleet size was a much more humble number like, say...4 or 5?  What if a size 30 fleet was a grandiose, almost unreachable plateau that required us to commit to our build and make sacrifices for it?  It would open up options not only for progression but for balance, optimization (both fleets AND system requirements) and give us a meaningful choice to make, whereas now a size 30 fleet is basically inevitable.  It would require a bit of algorithmic adjustment for the AI (who already basically ignores the fleet cap anyway) to compensate, but would that be such a bad thing in the end?


2
General Discussion / Hullmod expansion...gone?
« on: January 18, 2020, 06:17:46 PM »
So I noticed when I loaded the game up that one modcheck actually failed.  Hullmods expansion.  I go to check on it and the entire thread is gone with no trace.  Anyone know what happened?  did they just drop off the face of the earth?  Are they okay?

3
General Discussion / What. The F*%&.
« on: November 28, 2019, 04:58:34 AM »
Scenario.

High tier Luddic Path station.  Allies and enemy reinforcements.  Glorious battle.  Going our way.

Prometheus mk 2 in my fleet.  Cautious officer.  Missile spec, fighter skills, total missile carrier guy.  Perfect match for the ship, IMHO.

He's taking a few good hits and starting to lose a lot of hull (for SOME REASON--remember he's CAUTIOUS.)  I order him to back off to a nice safe distance while I finish the job.  You know...because I'm a responsible commander who pays attention to the battle situation and I don't want to lose an expensive, well-kitted ship I had to fight for.

What does he do?

Does he:
A: Back off as ordered?
B: Stay put?
C: nimbly dodge incoming fire while maneuvering for a better firing position?
D: Charge right into point blank range and get blown up?


Got your final answer?  Okay.  If you actually thought it was anything but D, I want YOUR copy of the game because MINE seems to have total *** as officer AI.  I love Starsector.  Let me reiterate so the context of my post is clear: I love Starsector.  I think it has enormous potential and focuses on game elements that I've found fun in many games for years.  I say this with nothing but love and care: I.  HATE.  FLEET.  AI.  It's cost me AT LEAST as many ships as my enemies have.  If anyone has any experience suitable to help our good friend with the AI, I URGE you to step up because GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

4
Suggestions / Time: a factor that prevents stagnation
« on: September 17, 2019, 04:03:59 PM »
When I was introduced to star sector, it took me a little while to figure out why I enjoyed it.  I mean I WAS enjoying it; I just couldn't put my finger on precisely WHY.  After a few hours it dawned on me while hunting down a pirate bounty:

PIRATES!

Pirates Gold, Sid Meier's Pirates, of COURSE!  The similar game flows reminded me of glorious voyages on the high seas, navigating storms, hunting marks, sinking ships, building fleets, trading goods at port, earning promotions, all that good stuff!  The combat mechanics and nuances of travel and ship loadouts helped of course but that's what really struck a chord with me.

I've realized there are a few things about those games that SS is missing though and the first one that really set the tone for those games is time.  In the pirates games, one constant is that you age.  Your character only has so many years of sailing in him and eventually you've got to hang up your hat and call it quits.  You have plentiful options to willingly retire on a good note but sooner or later wounds, illness and age take their toll and you're eventually forced into retirement with your deeds summarized into your final tale.  This was important because it meant that you had a good reason to get out there and DO stuff before your time was up.  Mortality is the greatest impetus for action after all.

Could Star Sector have a more concrete tone and pacing with the addition of aging and forced retirement?  How would it affect the feel of the game if we knew that we were on the clock?  It would certainly add incentive to take certain opportunities when they arise and it would definitely give us a reason to plan ahead and decide on our vision for our budding captain/admiral/commodore.

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