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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Raiding for Fun and Profit (11/27/19)

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Messages - Serenitis

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Plasma vs. HIL

One thing that is seldom mentioned that often very heavily influences my choice between these two, is that plasma cannot be left alone. It needs constant supervision due to it's huge flux generation.
AI ships cannot be trusted with plasma, and will almost always run up thier flux, and die due to overload.
Enemy ships with plasma are somewhat easier than any other large energy for the same reason.

It may be the better weapon for raw damage output. But I consider the HIL to be the better general purpose weapon because it can be left to do its thing in an automated group, or on an AI ship and still perform very well with easily managable flux generation. Plasma can't do this, and is relegated to specialist (usually player only) loadouts which are built around the weapon.
Also, HIL is hitscan, or very nearly. And the beam can be steered into things (even when being fired from automated turrets) which is not something projectiles are capable of.

There's also micromanagement to consider.
If I want to control the missiles on my ship, then that ship will almost certainly not have a plasma cannon on it. They create too much flux to be automated, and undermine any shield tanking ability the ship may have. And if the ship has a mobilty system this can have an odd interaction with the projectiles which mean shots routinely miss, wasting flux.
Conversely, if I want plasma on my ship, the rest of the loadout will be either empty slots or PD.

I'd consider them to be the other way around to most people.
HIL = general purpose
Plasma = specialist

General Discussion / Re: optimal vmparams settings for me?
« on: December 14, 2019, 07:06:38 AM »
-Xms4096m -Xmx4096m -Xss1024k

Xms and Xmx should be the same.
Xss doesn't really need to be changed.

Don't know if it's required, but I like to have all values be multiples (or fractions) of 1024.
So for 4 Gb allocated, that's 4096.

With that much memory, you could quite comfortably allocate 6 Gb (6144).

Suggestions / Re: Pre-battle fleet deployment screen
« on: December 14, 2019, 06:42:19 AM »
I always deploy my flagship on its own first, just so I don't have to deal with the ridiculous 'traffic jams' that can happen when you send in a group of ships and one or more of them decide that burn drives are bad and crawling past the boundary is super exciting.

Even if it's just something as simple as:

With one box each from the top and bottom row as the selection.

Suggestions / Re: My problem with this games music and some suggestions.
« on: December 12, 2019, 08:37:04 AM »
The only problem I've ever had with the music in this game is that it stops for things it has no need to stop for.
Why does interacting with objects in space need to be done in silence?
There's a lot of work gone into the music, and it seems like a shame to just blank it out all the time. It'd be nice if it just kept going all the time, only changing for encounters and markets.

Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Boggled's Terraforming Mod (v2.1.2)
« on: December 09, 2019, 11:01:34 AM »
I actually think that is great! Since you created the art, I will let you choose the new name of the device if you want. Please let me know if you have a preference!

That's awfully kind. But whatever you choose to name it will be fine.

General Discussion / Re: Can you be left alone in Starsector?
« on: December 08, 2019, 05:30:20 AM »
Not really.
Iirc that's a deliberate design choice.

Best you can do is:

Pick 1 out of
  • Sindrian Diktat
  • Persean League
  • Tri-Tachyon
to commission with so they won't send raids.
You still have to deal with the other 2.

Never use free port, so Hegemony and Luddites don't send raids.
Never use AI cores so Hegemony doesn't send inspections. Unless you're swimming in money and don't care about the cost of "donations".

Befriend the pirates. Which is a huge chore in it's own right. Espeically if you're looking to maintain good relations with everyone else.
No bounty hunting for you. Hope you don't need to defend yourself from random attacks ever.

Befriending the path is pointless, as they'll send "tourists" to your built up planets regardless of relations.
They're bugged atm, so they don't have much impact. But that won't be the case forever.

Best way to deal with it, is to always have at least 2 planets in any system with military bases on them. That usually gives the defenders enough punch to repel raids on thier own.

General Discussion / Re: Problems manually controlling flagship
« on: December 08, 2019, 04:17:17 AM »
You can't "cycle command".
What you're doing is looking at the video feed from another ship, which does not allow any interaction except returning to the tactical map.

You can transfer your command to another ship by moving your shuttle there. But this takes time depending on how far away you are from that ship.
The buttons at the bottom-right of the tactical display light up when you select various friendly/hostile things, and will display tooltips when you hold your pointer over them telling you what they do.

Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Boggled's Terraforming Mod (v2.1.2)
« on: December 06, 2019, 03:55:29 AM »
You really know a lot about the inner workings of Starsector. Thanks for your help!
Although I would like to be able to claim such extensive knowledge to puff up my own importance, I am just vaguely competant/persistant at digging through data.
Credit should go to Alex for creating code that isn't literal spaghetti.

I like this idea personally but I don't want to introduce too much complexity as that leads to bugs and player confusion. I'm also limited by availability of artwork that fits with the Starsector style as I'm a terrible artist myself.
Less complexity is good.
But I do wonder if the multiple stages thing might be useful.
Rather than have the player interact with it constantly throughout the process via industries, have it run through the stages of terraforming the planet on its own. Each 'stage' improves 1 aspect of the planet and notifies the player, so there's constant feedback.

My artistic abilities are.... limited to say the least. But I threw this together using some of the unused artwork in the game files:

If it doesn't appeal to you, hopefully it might inspire something else that does.

Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Boggled's Terraforming Mod (v2.1.2)
« on: December 02, 2019, 12:23:40 PM »
I might be wrong about this, so take it with a pinch of salt etc... controls how many motherships are in the sector, and in turn that controls how many other domain derelicts theres are.
And it seems to be heavily dependant on the size of the sector generated, and it's age.
You're guaranteed to get at least 1 mothership in any sector. And if I'm reading it right (if) it looks like there's a hard cap of 3 if the expression returns higher than that.

Each mothership can trigger the generation of 1-3 survey ships.
And each survey ship can trigger the generation of 2-5 probes. (1-3 probes can also be added 'randomly' to a system.)

Minimum possible generation of derelicts: 1M + 1S + 2P
2 terraforming drops is probably acceptable given the huge deal they are.

Maximum possible generation of derelicts: 3M + 9S + 45P
11 terraforming drops seems somewhat excessive, and possibly trivialises the item and the process.
Why would you bother with expensive shades etc. when you can just hit up a domain wreck for one of these?

Based on this, would it be out of line to suggest that only motherships are guaranteed drops, and survey ships get a tiny chance (if any) to drop the terraforming doodad?

Blog Posts / Re: Raiding for Fun and Profit
« on: December 01, 2019, 07:55:47 AM »
Quick thought regarding crew level: say uplevled crew is able to do the work of multiple normal crew, so you'd need fewer of them.

Didn't the various levels/types of crew get removed from previous versions due to adding a ton of unescessary complexity (and exploitable behaviour)?

Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Boggled's Terraforming Mod (v2.1.2)
« on: December 01, 2019, 01:29:13 AM »
Genesis Device :P

Speaking of which.... Maybe consider making them a bit harder to find.
They're set to guaranteed drops for both survey ships and motherships, and it's really easy to get a stack of these things if you lean into exploration even casually.

Perhaps making the mothership a decent, but not guaranteed chance of finding one (>50%). And the survey ship a small chance (<20%).

Some name candidates once we're not referencing random works anymore:
Planetary Conversion Kit
Terraforming Engine
Biosphere Formatting Tool
Environmental Assembler

Modding / Re: [0.9.1a] Boggled's Terraforming Mod (v2.1.1)
« on: November 30, 2019, 05:16:07 AM »
Is it impossible for a jungle/frozen/desert/cryovolcanic/tundra world to be generated with toxic atmosphere or irradiated conditions?
Both toxic and irradiated cannot be procgened on any world which has the habitable condition.
(Both set as requiresNotAny = "habitable")


Irradiated can be overidden by generation if the world is in a system with a neutron star as the primary, in which case all planets will be irradiated.
(Oddly, this does not apply if the neutron star is not the first star in the system. Normal rules apply if this is the case.)
As far as I'm aware, the only habitable planet that can generate around a neutron star is hab_2. Aka, Desert.

Jungle & Tundra can never have toxic or irradiated.
Desert can never have toxic. And can only be irradiated if it's orbiting a neutron star.
Frozen & Cryo can both have toxic. And can only be irradiated if they're orbiting a neutron star.

Mods / Re: [0.9.1a] Underworld 1.4.1
« on: November 28, 2019, 02:00:05 AM »
Is there a way to get the Underworld ship pack without the Cabal?
In the mod folder there's an options file. In that you can turn the cabal off.
No idea if the ships would still get randomly generated. I suspect not if the cabal is not present.

General Discussion / Re: Gryphon builds
« on: November 27, 2019, 10:21:36 AM »
Not fast or tough enough to be on the front line.
Not good enough at being artillery to be worth the effort of using as artillery.

The change shows up in the game okay, so I doubt it's being overriden otherwise it likely wouldn't.

Nowhere near seeing if it actually works though. All I can say is that it appears to.

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