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Messages - Sordid

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Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 21, 2020, 12:34:01 PM »
If you put enemies on equal footing with the player and make them able to handle everything well, the only thing you create is frustration and boredom.

That's... The point of how AI fights in Starsector.

What a shining endorsement.

You have fleets on both sides. Would making your fleet too dumb to live be worth making the enemy fleet too dumb to live as well?

Who says those two have to go hand in hand?

It is a good thing alpha cores are all upside and Pather cells are bugged, so that those who enjoy the colony game do not need to sacrifice combat power to do so.  That was my big mistake from my last game.  Nine points in Industry solely to have a decent-sized self-sufficient empire without help from cores and no interference from Pathers - big mistake!

Don't even get me started on the misguided design decision of forcing the player to choose between combat power and non-combat benefits. That's a whole other can of worms.

But, if alpha cores were bad because of functional Pather cells or otherwise legitimately do real bad things (like defect from your control), I probably would skip Combat skills reluctantly just so I can have an empire of several planets.  That would really hurt.

And that's exactly why.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 18, 2020, 09:28:01 AM »
making it more complicated can make some players (there are a lot of them here...) call it too hard, because they cant understand it

Don't forget that people can dislike something even if they understand it. Maybe they play SS for a different experience, like blowing up enemy ships, and forcing them to deal with complicated colony management would detract from that. If you want spreadsheet simulator, there's always EVE Online. Personally I really like how abstracted away everything is. Yeah, building ships doesn't require any resources other than money, but that's because you've already built a shipbuilding industry in a colony. You already have a few hundred thousand people doing all that kind of stuff for you, it's be stupid to have to go out and personally haul metals or whatever's needed. You just say what you want and your subjects take care of the details. I really, really like that. I just wish there was something interesting you could do with colonies besides just getting a passive income and buying ships and guns from them.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 18, 2020, 07:50:19 AM »
The second idea is to negatively effect the size of your fleet, i.e. the buff ships actually have a negative fleet point number. Fighting with a flotilla of buff ships actually diminishes the amount of combat ships you can deploy. Currently, even in a vastly outnumbered state, the ratio is still 60:40 when it comes to deployed ships on each side. If buff ships reduced this ratio further, as high as maybe 80:20, then it might make a player think twice about min/maxing them. Yes, each individual ship of the player's might be much more powerful but now you're facing much larger deployed forces.

More stuff to blow up? Awesome! Sure, why not.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 18, 2020, 03:41:12 AM »
Ah gotcha. Agree to disagree there. That's not my experience though I'm less experienced in late game campaign layer mechanics (colonies/raids, etc). As far as max battles are concerned, though, I feel like I influence them quite a bit when I fly and don't feel obligated to only fly capitals- even if it's optimal to do so. It's not my playstyle, exactly, but I've done it and still occasionally "take the reigns" so to speak.

Yeah, well, that's why I suggested this as a new ship type rather than as a fundamental change to how the combat works, so that it would remain optional for people like me who want it without ruining the fun for people like you.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 17, 2020, 06:03:47 PM »
The appeal of this game (for me at least) is specifically the combination of the two. I find that either of those genres in their pure form tend to be boring. In that sense, this thread (I didn't read all of it to be fair, but I *think* I get the main points) is wanting a design direction that, while I certainly respect the OP's opinion here, wouldn't be that fun to me if I'm honest.

Maybe you should actually read the thread, because I'm definitely not advocating the removal of the 4X features. I simply want late-game combat gameplay that doesn't involve the AI doing most of the work. That's it. I don't like games that play themselves, and the farther you get in SS, the more it becomes that kind of game.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 17, 2020, 11:55:43 AM »
Oh yeah, I was. Didn't realize that would cause problems. Thanks! The reply:

Since 0.8a, AI has become much more cowardly, and it did not get much better in 0.9a.  Modern AI is still much more cowardly than in 0.7.x releases and before.  It will stall until heat (or CR) death if given the chance. In worst case scenario (like lone starter Apogee), player may need to waste much time cornering the enemy before being able to kill it.

Yeah, that is incredibly annoying. 90% of my fights with a Radiant end with it backed up against the edge of the map. Way to go drawing attention to technical limitations, that kind of thing doesn't yank the player right out of the experience and destroy any semblance of immersion at all.   ::)

Map size.

What can frigates do late game?

Agreed 100%. I miss the good old days...

Well, being a wizard in Starsector means developer cheats, like giving yourself money, changing rep, giving yourself ships including normally unplayable ones like Radiant or Guardian, erasing enemy ships... or hijacking and piloting them yourself.  Creating or blowing up worlds.  Teleportation.  Insert weird or spooky stuff.  Basically playing god.

Eh... that's more like being the DM, or at least messing with the DM's notes and plans while he's on the toilet. I don't want to outright cheat (I could do that very easily), I want to play within the rules, I just wish the rules wouldn't strongly push me into the most unfun playstyle possible.

What I meant by early fighter is player progresses from personal power to world strategic power.  One human is limited to so much, so the way for one human get more power than one human is to lead many humans to do what that one human wants, and not necessarily in a fight, but to build up an empire so you have a home, steady income, and maybe political power to do things like give quests to other low-level murderhobos to do your dirty work while you focus on you want to do.

I get that, but that's easy to do in tabletop roleplaying. In the context of SS you're talking about transitioning from a space shooter with AI allies to a 4X strategy, a complete switch of genre. And the thing is, if I wanted to play a 4X strategy game, there are many much, much beter ones than what SS is or ever will be (because, being a hybrid game, it can never be as good as a specialist single-genre title).

The colony management aspect as it currently exists is little more than reskinned Cookie Clicker. You earn some cookies manually at first, then you buy an upgrade that earns them automatically, and then you have nothing to do but wait until you have enough cookies to buy the next upgrade that earns them even faster, and then you wait some more, buy the next upgrade, etc., etc., until eventually you run out of upgrades to buy, at which point you question why you even bothered spending time on this.

And the thing is, that fighter can still go and bash some heads in regardless of how many followers he has. By the time you have an empire under your thumb in SS, you can't very well just go out with two frigates and a destroyer anymore, enemy fleets are going to be way too big for that. That fun, dynamic early-game gameplay is irretrievably lost.

It would be nice if late-game Starsector has some ruler things to do instead of locking the player's fleet into meathead mode all game.

If it's fleshed out to let you do interesting things, sure, I guess? Given how anything interesting in meathead mode gets nerfed into the ground, though, I don't have high hopes. It's just going to be the same boring "+1% to whatever" kind of thing that character skills are saturated with.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 17, 2020, 10:14:04 AM »
WTF do I get a database error when I try to post an actual reply to this?

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 17, 2020, 03:59:09 AM »
CR was introduced in part to stop the player from feeling the optimal solution to everything is to solo it for hours and in part to stop kiting AI from dragging the battle for hours.

I know that, but IMO the correct solution would've been to give the player incentive to not solo rather than to punish them for it. As for AI, the simplest and best way to stop it from kiting would be to, y'know, stop it from kiting. The dev can't control the player's behavior, at least not directly, but he can directly control the AI's behavior. Programming the AI to kite and then introducing CR to 'solve' that problem seems... unwise, to say the least.

Before 0.8 and skill rework, only ships that made any practical impact were those with officers and the player, and because the player could use much better tactics, only the player truly counted.

Yeah, and that made the player feel powerful and the game fun. Now the player barely matters, and the game feels unsatisfying.

Another issue is that AI doesn't handle fast player ships well.

That's a good thing, though. The AI ultimately exists to be defeated by the player, so giving the player effective strategies to do so is good for the game. Ever play Dark Souls? Hard but fair and all that. You know what Dark Souls enemies don't handle well? Players shooting at them with ranged weapons from far away and/or from above. The devs could've very easily prevented that kind of cheese by making enemies block such shots with their shields or by making them run away to hide, but they didn't. Deliberately. Because being able to cheese fights you can't yet handle normally is very important for the health of a game. Likewise, the player is faster than (almost) any enemy in DS, so, outside of boss fights that lock you in the arena, they can just run away to heal whenever you want. Can you imagine how frustrating and unfun the game would be if you couldn't do that? And yet even with those things in place, DS is a hard game where players die plenty of times.

If you put enemies on equal footing with the player and make them able to handle everything well, the only thing you create is frustration and boredom.

The AI can wear you down, by draining your CR. Without it, it's not an enemy, it's a measuring device for your patience.

But their CR drains as well, so if that's to be the deciding factor, then the outcome is predetermined based on whose ship has a longer PPT and more CR. Might as well not have a fight at all in that case and just announce the result to the player.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 16, 2020, 07:19:26 PM »
Well CR is a pressure to push the players towards using a faster, more aggressive approach, while at the same time tying together the out of combat layer, how to deal with multiple fights in a row, environmental effects, and fine tuning the relative balance of fast vs slow, carrier vs non-carrier ships. I think its a pretty inspired mechanic to be honest, but I know others feel difference. I usually install hardened subsystems on my frigates - that gets them through the midgame pretty well. Late game I would install them on my destroyers except I'm usually not using them for more than mop up/escort duty anyhows.

Eh, players only need pushing toward aggression because they're also being pushed toward caution by the fact that it's so easy to lose ships to the AI doing stupid things. It's damned if you do, damned if you don't. CR is a politruk with a machine gun threatening to shoot anyone who doesn't charge at the enemy machine guns. I'd love to have some positive motivation for a change, rather than punishments looming on all sides.

The other stuff doesn't even need dealing with or tying together at all, IMO. Mount&Blade is a great game that does perfectly well without modeling soldier fatigue, for example. It also does perfectly well without limiting the number of orders you can give your guys, and without having like three different movement modes on the overworld map. Starfarer used to be so full of promise, but for the last half a decade or so all Alex has been doing is adding annoyances and obstacles on the road to fun, that being blowing up enemy ships. I can't even remember the last time I recommended the game to anyone, it's been that long. I just can't do that anymore in good conscience. Lately I've taken to just using twelve tugs in my fleet to reach burn 20, which makes all the overworld movement abilities irrelevant (sustained burn, emergency burn, interdiction pulse). You never need to use any of them, and you don't care which ones the AI uses. And my god, it makes the overworld map gameplay so much better, more responsive, and more fun. If anything, this game needs paring down and removing all the extraneous BS that just detracts from what's good about it. Alex is like a writer without an editor.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 16, 2020, 06:29:41 PM »
Hmm, I think this might depend on battle size!

Don't even get me started, that's a whole other can of worms. The way battle size works needs a serious rework.

Maybe instead of not being able to be deployed, it MUST be deployed? In that case its giving a buff to everyone, but would itself be reasonably vulnerable and require protection? This gives the player another consideration as they are zooming about, similar to low grade carriers in the midgame.

My god, no! The whole point of this is to have fewer ships to babysit, not more!

May I ask if you're putting points into combat Sordid? Apologies if you've answered before. Just because with the combat endurance skill I've never had a capital start ticking down CR, and very rarely cruisers (recently in 15 capital (onslaughts + legions) enemy fleets the Heron in my fleet (360 time) started ticking but the Eagles (480 time) hadn't, so I have a pretty good indication that that battle lasted about 400 seconds.

Yeah, I'm putting points in it. But CR is yet another reason why I go with a small deployment of capitals in late game, because smaller stuff starts losing CR if the battle drags on. In early game, when I'm flying smaller ships myself, it's even more of an annoyance. I honestly don't know what Alex was thinking with this one, I don't see how CR makes the game better or more fun in any way. I hated it when it was first introduced, and I still hate it now. I should probably look for a mod that just outright disables it, there's got to be one.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 16, 2020, 05:50:39 PM »
All that's needed for a single player ship to destroy unlimited enemies is enough speed and infinite PPT/CR.

Yes, and the game was so much more fun before those things were introduced. When CR runs out, it's the game saying "oops, looks like you've had fun for too long, time to lose now".

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 16, 2020, 05:08:55 PM »
I see, you just don't want to play a fleet based game at all.

That's not what I said at all. Please stop putting words in my mouth. I like having a small fleet, I just don't want it to render me irrelevant. Again, for the fifteenth time, I don't want a game that mostly plays itself.

As to the original suggestion, I think fleet buff ships could work if they increased the deployment cost of the ships in addition to the supply cost. The issue with heavily buffed ships is always that you could just deploy 10 of them instead of 1 and 9 other support ships (why use anything else) and I don't think monetary cost can offset that without going overboard, but if your buffed ship costs two or three times as many DP to deploy, it might not be thaaaat crazy. It would have to cost a similar amount of DP and supplies as an equivalently strong fleet IMO. It seems tricky to balance, but maybe it could work. It might not be worth the time for alex to try and balance that though, its like a whole second ship balance to track in addition to the normal ship balance which seems like a lot. Again, probably a place for mods rather than a vanilla feature, but who knows.

I don't think you understand what I meant by the suggestion. You literally could not deploy non-buffed ships. Got a +10 speed buff ship in your fleet? All ships deployed into combat get that buff. But you have one less combat ship to deploy, because that buff ship is taking up a ship slot in your fleet. Given how many logistics ships you need to have in your fleet (tankers, freighters, troopships, tugs...), I think that in and of itself would be a significant enough opportunity cost.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 16, 2020, 03:07:16 PM »
What I was trying to say is that in my experience, it is already possible to play in a 'hero ship' style where you fly around killing things with the AI supporting you. Perhaps not to the extent of previous patches where you could solo everything, but certainly to the extent where your flagship gets the majority of the kills and does a large portion of the damage (which I would hardly call being the AI's sidekick). To me that seems like the sort of experience you get soloing stuff. If not please clarify exactly what experience you are looking for?

No, that is pretty much what I want. And I can do it, mostly, but it's just very tedious, because the sort of ship you have to use for it is very slow and boring to fly. Hence this suggestion thread.

I find that my actions matter almost as much as the rest of my fleet combined.

I agree, that's exactly my point. As you just said, your actions matter less than the rest of your fleet, and I don't think that's good. I don't want a game that mostly plays itself. Older versions weren't like that, and it makes me sad that that's the direction this game is going.

Can you describe a typical late game flagship + fleet + opponent where you feel like the fight is even and you have very little ability to impact the outcome?

I already did, but here you go again: Paragon + Astral or two against a Remnant Ordo. Literally all I do is sit in place and act as a wall for the Astral(s) to hide behind, manage my flux, and soften up targets for the bombing runs. There's very little reason to even try to move, since my ships are so much slower than the enemy that it makes no difference anyway, I can't outmaneuver anything. And I can't take a faster and more maneuverable capital instead of the Paragon, because no capital available to the player can outrun and/or outmaneuver the Radiant, so my only choice is the one that can outlast it.

Oh, and the bombing runs often pick their targets in the worst way possible. So many times I've had two identical enemy ships in front of me, one with full flux and the other empty, and guess which one the bombers decided to go for. Given that there's a constant stream of enemies arriving and therefore a need to constantly be killing, that kind of thing can screw up the whole battle by allowing the enemy to group up to the point where they can overwhelm us.

Yeah, I'm affecting the battle in the sense that if I let go of the controls, we lose. But there's nothing I can do better because there's nothing to do, and there's not much I can do worse, because watching the bombers to figure out which target they're lining up on and opening up on it to make it drop shields requires very little skill or effort already. It feels like working an assembly line, the same few repetitive motions over and over. I can't do anything interesting or creative or fun. The early game is far more interesting in this respect. Even if you're doing the same thing, the smaller and faster early game ships make for a much more fun combat experience.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 16, 2020, 02:07:58 PM »
Re: Progression.
While I like to pilot a godship, if all the player can do is be a low-level brute that a power can sic at others like a dog, then the player faction can only go so far.  It is like early D&D fighters that do not get much more personal power after name level (just a few more hp).  Their main late-game class feature is attracting (possibly free) followers to build up an army or run a keep.  If an individual fighter cannot keep with a wizard, he can use the people granted by his class feature to do the work of a hundred or so men.

Yeah, but in D&D you can choose to play a wizard. In SS, a fighter with a bunch of followers is the only option. I think the game would be a lot richer and more interesting if it gave you the option to play as a wizard.

I would like high colony income be useful for doing epic, strategic scale things that are beyond the scope of a few battles.  (Paying off extortionists is not what I have in mind, not when I can wipe them off the map if they bother my empire too much.)

Agreed. I don't much care for colony management in the current version, since all it really does is provide a passive income and a way to get ships and guns on demand, without having to run around from one market to another looking for them. The former shouldn't even be necessary, and there are better and more interesting ways of providing the latter. I find it hard to believe the far future doesn't include the equivalent of google that could be used to find the things you're looking for.

Suggestions / Re: Combat buff ships for solo playstyle
« on: April 16, 2020, 01:30:43 PM »
Soo you've played the game in 2009 when it wasn't even available? Alright kiddo.

You registed in 2015. Go troll somewhere else.

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