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Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Updated the Forum Rules and Guidelines (02/29/20); Blog post: GIF Roundup (04/11/20)

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Topics - Morrokain

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Modding / To: Those Experienced with Mod Releases
« on: June 01, 2017, 04:58:06 PM »
Early tests indicate the update fixed the problems!  ;D ;D ;D THANK YOU ALEX!! Been a long time in progress but:

Finally in the last testing phases of my tactical combat/fighter re-balance mod and looking to get some gameplay and content videos, gifs and other such stuff prepared to showcase its features! Release is looking like ~two weeks or so depending upon a couple last items I want to squeeze in.

I'm looking for recommendations on how to capture gameplay video and make gifs, etc as well as sites to store the content for displaying it in the forum topic post. Just need to know where to start looking.

Anybody have some time to give me a little direction? Kind of new to it.  :P 

General Discussion / Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« on: January 26, 2017, 11:16:51 PM »
So, Imma just leave this here but... in the interim before the highly anticipated update is ready I'd really love to get some dirt on these guys since they finally make an appearance! We already kind of know what the Persean League is about. But this faction only has a couple vague references in weapon descriptions and are otherwise a total mystery lore-wise. Blog post if time maybe please?

Who are they? What is their place in the general political sphere of the sector? Are they more of a sub-faction under the dominion of one of the other powers or have they carved out their own slice of influence?

Do they have any ship / tech preferences or unique combat tactics?


Suggestions / Hullmod: Adjust Fighter Installation Cost
« on: January 14, 2017, 02:24:28 PM »
Can we get support for hullmods that lower the OP cost for specific fighter wings for a ship its installed on?

I would want to use this to partially limit or at least encourage hi-tech fighters and bombers only on hi-tech ships.

Just didn't see this in the patch notes and so figured I'd suggest it if it wasn't supported already  :)

Suggestions / Design Discussion: Player value vs credit value
« on: November 18, 2016, 03:25:17 PM »
Been meaning to suggest this for a bit, but now that everything is coming together and the world is expanding next update I wanted to get my thoughts out on campaign progression.

Right now, I feel the primary discussion of the campaign element of the game is that many players either feel the early game is difficult, or the late game mechanics and skills favor player controlled super ships or the highly trained officers and their related skills. To those who point out that losing ships (I'll update with post links later btw, feeling lazy atm ;P) hurts the bottom line too much and to have meaningful progression losses have to be minimized, I am not suggesting otherwise, as I would agree.

But, at the other end, the game can't be too easy if loses don't mean anything or supplies become trivial because everything is super cheap and accessible. So to rebalance around early game doesn't make sense either. In the blog post on procedural generation, Alex touched on early game progression and noted that though pirate skins and built-in debuff hullmods were meant to make the early combat encounters easier, automated defense encounters would be another level down too, and other exploration content would make early game easier. I think this is a good step, but I also think something else is needed before any of the above issues truly get solved.

What I am talking about is what a player finds of value in winning an encounter vs what they lose. Right now, the biggest medium of transaction in the game is credits. Credits buy supplies, fuel, weapons and ships. It is by far the most valuable "fun gaining" resource in the game. Think of reputation, for example. All that does at best is unlock new things that also cost credits. So credits are still in play there. Nothing gained in battle outweighs the value of pure credits, because they are more flexible than just a weapon, supplies or even the costly boarding of a new ship, unless that ship or weapon cannot be bought at a market for credits anywhere else.

Losses in battle in turn cost credits as well, both in terms of CR replenishment and supplies, and the loss of ships and weapons as a whole. Because deployment cannot be without cost (because it makes things too easy), it was balanced around careful supply considerations to make it undesirable to deploy overwhelming advantages. But! This also means that losses therefore always become a redline area that makes success of the mission no longer worth the investment cost per cost.

That is because the only thing of true value gained from combat right now is additional credits. Reputation, as stated earlier, is inferior as a reward because it is also linked to having credits. And since multiple areas of the campaign and combat are finely tuned around a "mistake = lost credits" scenario, it is no surprise that only the most conservative of playstyles are successful, and then quickly become boring because they have crossed the threshold of the difficulty barrier.

So, the only real way to solve these issues is to implement 2 things across multiple areas of the game:

1) More than one (preferable a couple) accessible, reliable, repeatable and sustainable ways to make credits outside of a combat encounter.

and more importantly:

2) The has to be another (again preferably many) currency that equals or is greater than credits in terms of potential content progression.

So maybe stations can act as one, the addition of the new resources I could see as being something you would want to throw ships away over. But that's really the idea here. Imo, the game will be at its most fun when an actual decision most players make will be something along the lines of "lets tell these 2 Lashers to escort this Hyperion, because the Lashers are expendable and the Hyperion isn't." I would even go so far to say as around 65% of your fleet at any given time should be mostly expendable and fairly easily replaced. The only things you should never want to lose is exceptionally rare or, your personal favorite, ships and weapons.

The big difference in this scenario, is that their loss would be as "payment" for something else that progresses the players goals, whatever that may be. It can be a buff to reputation's relevance as a resource, new research or tech potential, or even story. There are multiple paths to go I think.

Right now, all ships are equally important, because any losses equal lost progression because the only way to progress is more credits.

There hasn't been any details released (thankfully) on the exploration content, but it should hopefully give these new progression paths an equal relevance to just getting as rich as possible, because right now too many things are a necessary drain on credits for that to work well otherwise.

I also think these progression paths should be content rewarding rather than punitive. Since most mechanics introduced right now discourage things (hyperstorms, CR, supplies, fuel, reputation tech barriers) by costing credits, there has to be a balancing end that rewards the player for losing expendable ships by increasing their access to new fun things. Reputation was a start, but it effectiveness was limited since like I said the stuff unlocked from rep still costs credits, so still equates ship losses as "unacceptable" in a player's mind.

Anyone else care to respond or give their ideas on this? I just figured now is the time since this is the kind of stuff currently under development. :)

Suggestions / Unlockable Codex Entries (exploration)
« on: September 23, 2016, 12:46:13 PM »
I actually have suggested this before a long time ago, but it is a lot more relevant with the procedural generation and exploration features taking shape so I will post it again.

If not already, the codex entries should have a *hidden* flag that only unflags when you find an item during the campaign.

This way, all weapons and ships, variants and skins are not just known by browsing the easily accessible codex and inadvertently finding spoilers - unless you have already encountered that ship/weapon before.

This not only makes the game a lot more fun since I am excited to find new things and new kinds of weapons I don't even know exist yet through exploration (and later technological re-discoveries that unlock new tech blueprints for the industry feature), but its also important for the potential addition of procedurally generated weapons, ships or even whole factions that are "in the codex" but not found every play through. New players could get pretty frustrated if they didn't know that beforehand.

Could be on my end or something unrelated, but my mod seems to ignore the lionsguard.faction file and its ship doctrine, variant definitions and weights when spawning fleets.

Mod runs fine and the faction is there, it just spawns the same ships it would in Vanilla. All other files work normally and at least seem to generally follow the weights and variant definitions.

Did I miss a script or something that makes this set?

Suggestions / Discussion: The case for fighters as weapons.
« on: June 25, 2016, 01:48:14 PM »
I wanted to get a conversation going about this since I believe I saw somewhere that a rework of fighters is possibly on the near future to do list and there have been ~4 "fix fighters" posts in the last 5 pages of suggestions.

A long time ago fighters in Starsector were weapon types that kind of shot out fighters like bullets. They then went through a model where they were a ship type that could "land" on a carrier and repair and rearm themselves but were completely lost when the whole squad was destroyed. Now we are at the current model of reinforcing fighters at the cost of supplies and reverting back to the old model only if carriers are not present within a fleet.

I think that with the addition of all the new features and especially with the addition of rng and procedural spawning on the campaign level, a case can be made for having fighters as weapon types again.

A couple pros to this model:

     1) It is easy to do with a pre-existing model already in the past development cycles. Combine it with the reinforcement (at the cost of supplies) mechanic currently present for a completely unique weapon type that is far more manageable, moddable and balanced than the current fighter system.

     2) Lessens the headache and impact of rng and random spawning by ensuring all carriers have the appropriate amount of fighters to field.

     3) Similar to the last point, fighters are fielded based upon their carrier's own flight deck capabilities and not just their weight class. (fighters tied to carrier itself, the spawn weights are inadequate to provide an accurate carrier distribution in most cases and in my mind completely kills any find of faction specialization)

     4) Can restrict certain fighter types from certain hulls (low tech condor cannot support wasps for example) to better diversify ship flavor while providing a balancing tool for some of the worst offenders (looking at you, trident).

     5) Fighters finally spawn from designated carrier (a wish-list item that has been circling around in the community for a while).

     6) Fighter only fleets are impossible (ends up being more annoying than anything else since they are useless without a carrier and prevents new fleets from spawning if not caught).


     1) Fighters without carriers becomes an issue. Would require either the rejection of that idea or a way to keep that in the game somehow. my 2 cents: I'm ok with getting rid of it if it fixes the above issues but it is not the ideal solution. One idea to fix this would be to give some ships that it would make sense on (hound, kite, taursus, etc) that weapon type but obviously a civilian hull mod that great weakens it. Maybe far less replacement chassis and obviously some harsh tech restrictions (no bombers or support fighters and no hi tech fighters and interceptors).

     2) AI needs to be able to handle this. I'm not sure how much would be required here but I am of the mindset that an AI fine tuning of carrier and fighter tactics is necessary regardless and so consider this a "light" con.

Anyway what are the communities thoughts on this?

So this is meant to be pretty straightforward. Since a cursory glance hasn't revealed any posts on this topic, I would like to get the info out there on how to spawn your own custom fleets with help from the modding community and Alex, if possible.

From here on out, I am posting what I think this code does based upon my own personal play testing. I am making this post in the hopes that other members of the modding and development community can contribute to the accuracy of this post for the betterment of the community as a whole.

Specifically I want to focus on fleet distribution using the faction files located in starsector/starsector-core/data/world/factions directory to spawn custom fleets in place of the core game fleets.


Open one of these files in a text editor. I use notepad but notepad++ I have heard is better at color coding syntax and a variety of other convenience things.

A First Look at Spawn Probability:

Open a factions file (I am using the Hegemony file as the example in this post) and scroll down to the the portion marked "doctrine". It is located near the bottom of the file and should appear similar to this:

# ship distribution

# as fraction of combat ships of same size




The first section of the code is ship distribution. This section determines what type and how many of each ship type will spawn when a new fleet is generated.

The portion in quotes (i.e: "small":8,) is an ID for a ship type that is further defined by one or several ship variant file IDs earlier in the Factions file. Do not worry about that for now, we will get to that later on in this post. Just understand that each ID represents a grouping of ship variants you can define yourself.

The second part of code after the ":", the number (i.e: "small":8,), is the probability weight given to this grouping. This means that when each fleet is generated in the game the higher the number given to the "small" ship type the more likely "small" type ships will be spawned.


It is important to note that probability weight is different from a set scale weight or ratio. Weights of 2 and 4  for the ship types frigate and fighter respectively will not equal 2 frigates and 4 fighters every time (or even most of the time in my experience  ::) ). It is still very likely fleets will spawn all frigates or 5 frigates and a single fighter with such low weight variance.

It is also important to note here that a "higher" number only means one higher relative to the other ship grouping weights defined under the ship distribution section. So for example say "small" is given a weight of 8, "fighter" is given a weight of 16 and "capital" is given a weight of 4. In this case "fighter" type ships will spawn roughly 2 times more often than "small" type ships and roughly 4 times more often than "capital" type ships. However, the same cannot be said if the weights were 8 for "small", 16 for "fighter", and 2 for "capital". Then, though "fighter" type ships would still spawn roughly 2 times more often than "small" type ships, they would now spawn roughly 8 times more often than "capital" type ships. Simply making the number higher will not spawn more ships by itself unless the other ships all remain the same.

So if you want more "set" fleets, using higher weight variance helps, but of course cannot outright eliminate, situations where fleets are composed of more or less of one ship type than intended.


In Starsector, there are a couple different probability levels for each type of fleet spawned. Freighter fleets, for example, have the freighters themselves in small, medium and large types, but also have a percentage chance to spawn combat freighters of the same size instead of freighters for each ship spawned. Along the same lines, any combat ship has a ratio to express the number of "escort" type ships of each size that will be spawned instead of the normal combat vessels defined earlier in the file. These two layers of probability are determined in the next section of code after fleet distribution :

		# as fraction of combat ships of same size


So in this example for every 2 "small" and "medium" ship type spawned, one will be an escort with a 1:1 ratio. This is a "hard" ratio I believe (one of the few in the game) so not exactly a probability but nonetheless another layer to manage in fleet distribution.

Similarly, in this example combat freighters will spawn roughly 1 out of every 10 times a freighter spawns (10% chance = 0.1). This is not a "hard" ratio but probability like the rest of the weights we have been dealing with so far.


Carrier probability works slightly differently. The next section of code looks like this:



** this section needs to be worked on**

The first two lines are unclear to me. I am not sure what "points" are being referred to here, but the idea is the higher the number the less access to larger ships. It does not seem to be fleet points because in my current W.I.P mod capitals never spawn for some reason even with it set to 10 and many fleets have far more than 10 fleet points in their composition.

** this section needs to be worked on**

The last 3 lines, however, set the probability a carrier will spawn once in a fleet. As far as I can tell, a probability of 1.0 (100%) means that a single carrier of the designated size will be included in combat fleets and patrols. They do not seem to have any effect on freighter convoys. If multiple sizes are set to 1.0 then both carriers will be included in the fleet if it is large enough. (patrol or higher)

Also, any fleet that includes a carrier will have a couple more fighter, interceptor or bomber wings added seemingly at random regardless of the weights set earlier under ship distribution.


Now that we understand how the different layers of probability operate outside of the ship type groupings, lets take a look at how each of these layers works together alongside individual grouping weights to add yet another layer of probability to ship composition.

Each ship type grouping has a number of variant IDs assigned to it earlier in the factions file. Scroll up to find the code Ship Roles:





# hybrid ships with good combat and cargo capacity


# carriers

# freighters and such



# utility ships

As you can probably see, each grouping is labeled in quotes and the variant IDs are and their individual weights are included in the "{}" brackets. In our earlier example. "small" equals "combatSmall" and that grouping includes these variants:


Each variant has a number assigning its weight just like before, and these weights are taken into account after the higher level weights are determined in the generated fleet. So once the fleet generator has determined that a small ship type will be spawned and it will not be an "escort" type ship, it chooses from the variant IDs based upon their own weights and adds that ship to the fleet.

So to summarize, for every time a small, non-escort, combat ship spawns in the fleet composition (higher level layers of probability), it will be twice as likely that it will select a variant ID with a weight of 10 over a weight of 5 (lower level layer of probability).


SO now for the things I do not know or even have much of a guess on at this point:

1) How does the fleet generator select different groupings for each fleet label? So for example, a "Detachment" fleet is the only fleet that seems to use the "large" or "capital" ship weight. Patrols only can use the "mediumCarrier" type, it will exclusively use the large carrier in detachments. All fleets seem to use the combat freighter probability for any potential freighter spawned yet carriers are never included in freighter fleets. Escorts are even less clear. They sometimes seem to spawn in freighter convoys, sometimes not. Fast picket fleets seems to always exclusively use the "fast" type and ignores all others, but other fleets sometimes use "fast" ships as well, but at random.

The real confusion here is how fighters, bombers and interceptors are chosen. It seems completely irregardless of the weight they are assigned in that increasing the variance of the weights only affects the fleets in which they are spawned at all. The fleets that choose to field them are unclear. As I have said earlier carriers always seem to have a couple extra, and heavier patrols and detachments use the weights seemingly only sometimes. If you want a fighter heavy faction, my recommendation at this point is to include fighters in the "fast" and "smallEscort" grouping at a high weight variance. Even then, it is certainly not a guarantee that there will be some in every fleet and others will sometimes have far too many.

2) How can you determine how many ships are spawned per fleet? This option is not present in the faction file or seemingly in any of the other scripts.

Thanks for reading!!

Hey was wondering if anyone could help me with this or has run into this before me.

I'm trying to edit variants using dev mode since the new weapon types broke Trylobot's editor and I am running into the permissions issue with Windows 7. I have tried changing the permissions of the variants folder and it always autodefaults back to read only. I don't seem to have a way to get it to "stick" so to speak when I change it even when trying to add special permissions  :P and that was the workaround discussed here:

Its driving me crazy its like windows has absolutely determined that if I am allowed to change program file permissions I will break the whole computer.
I could use the second solution and reinstall the game outside of programs(x64) but I would rather not unless that is the only option because that would probably break many more things...  ::)  

Bug Reports & Support / v7.2a Consistent Crash while in Marketplace
« on: March 03, 2016, 01:09:02 PM »
I keep getting game crashes if I linger on the market U.I of any station or planet for too long.

It was a null exception, last lines of code in the starsector log were:
1558360 [Thread-4] INFO  - Adding Food(Asharu)
1559726 [Thread-10] INFO  sound.oo0O  - Creating streaming player for music with id [faction_generic_market_01_neutral_var01.ogg]
1559726 [Thread-10] INFO  sound.H  - Playing music with id [faction_generic_market_01_neutral_var01.ogg]
1933548 [Thread-4] INFO  sound.oo0O  - Cleaning up music with id [miscallenous_corvus_campaign_music.ogg]
1933556 [Thread-8] INFO  sound.oo0O  - Cleaning up music with id [faction_generic_market_01_neutral_var01.ogg]
1933747 [Thread-10] INFO  sound.oo0O  - Creating streaming player for music with id [faction_generic_market_01_neutral_var01.ogg]
1933747 [Thread-10] INFO  sound.H  - Playing music with id [faction_generic_market_01_neutral_var01.ogg]
1933831 [Thread-4] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain  - java.lang.NullPointerException
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.s.advanceImpl(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.P.advance(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.s.advanceImpl(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.impl.StandardTooltipV2.advanceImpl(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.P.advance(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.s.advanceImpl(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.ui.P.advance(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.CampaignState.advance(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.BaseGameState.traverse(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.state.AppDriver.begin(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.combat.CombatMain.main(Unknown Source)
   at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$ Source)
   at Source)

When you open the descriptions.csv file in either notepad or open office you immediately notice that there isn't a comma between "notes" and the first ID of the first description.

The game will run fine if you do not edit it at all, but even pressing enter will break the file completely. Pressing backspace to fix your "mistake" does not help either. You will continually get the FATAL:JSONObject: ["id"] not found error message. So far all I have been able to do to fix the problem is to re-download the game each time.

It must be something from the latest patch because I have always been able to edit the file in the past... come to think of it I think I had to scrap my old descriptions file when the trade update hit. At the time I thought there was just a format change and I would get back to it later... could even be from way back then.

Anyway I will start experimenting more with it to see if I can find out some more info but it looks like there is something weird there that doesn't apply to any of the other csv files such as ships.csv or weapons.csv.

Those seem to be far more flexible in how you can edit them. I have consistently edited them even with the new update using both notepad and open office.

EDIT: Actually all of those files don't have a comma after the end of the descriptor first line and before the first actual data line either.. seems strange to me  :P but those seem to work ok. Looks like it is simply an issue with any space or editing at all of the  descriptions file. I tried just putting a simple space in between the last comma of a line and the id of the next line and it breaks it the same way.  :-\

Modding / 0.65a Modding Resources?
« on: December 21, 2014, 02:10:49 PM »
I was just curious to see if there were any resources or tutorials for 0.65a on how to change how fleets are composed and the new ways to add markets and systems.

Suggestions / Environmental Battles
« on: December 11, 2014, 03:31:39 PM »
I am not 100% sure where you are planning to go next as far as features are concerned, Alex, but I thought I would bring something up I haven't seen mentioned here in a while.

I would like to see environmental battles implemented in the near future in the campaign.

For instance:

Battles near nebulae in the campaign map have a lot of nebulae clouds in them and maybe in lower sight radius on ships.

Battles near asteroid fields have larger and more menacing asteroids in them that can seriously damage ships/hold pirate bases.

Battles near stations or planets have the stations or planets in them somehow.

I think it would really open up the game's immersion and create some interesting tactical choices much like the mission scenarios would imply.

Of course it would be even better to see mod support for different battle variants/scenarios too. Modders could really use them in creative ways.

TwigTech station battles anyone?  ;D

Suggestions / New Collision Class
« on: September 19, 2014, 06:49:18 PM »
I would like:
collisionClass: "SHIPS_AND_ASTEROIDS_no_FF"

Essentially a way for a projectile or beam to ignore enemy fighters and only be able to hit ships and asteroids without automatically damaging your own ship.

Modding / MutableShipStatsAPI Missing Something?
« on: May 06, 2014, 01:43:28 PM »
I am trying to make a skill that sets the deployment/logistics cost of the player flagship but I can't seem to find anything in the MutableShipStatsAPI that can modify logistics cost.

I see almost everything else modifiable in the data spreadsheet though and plenty of things that aren't. Was this overlooked or am I missing it?

I want it to look something like this:
	public void apply(MutableShipStatsAPI stats, HullSize hullSize, String id, float level) {
stats.getFleetPoints().set(id, SkillData.HELMSMANSHIP_LOGISTICS_COST);


This should make it so that the logistics/deployment cost of the player flagship is always 12 no matter the hull-size correct?

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