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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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Topics - Serenitis

Pages: [1] 2 3
1
Suggestions / Hydroponics Industry
« on: November 21, 2019, 12:28:59 PM »
Previously I suggested the addition of an industry which allows food to be generated anywhere.
http://fractalsoftworks.com/forum/index.php?topic=15748
Spoiler
Hydroponic Farming Industry

Already exists in-game. Just as a market condition (not sure if this is even used anymore).
(please excuse the random image from the internet squashed into the right size.)

Allows food production on worlds without land suitable for farming.
Produces: Food equivalent to farmland_poor (-1).
Requires: Machinery, Organics.
Upkeep: 4
[close]
This is however wrong and dumb. It's far too good.

I would like to suggest an industry in the same vein, which is far more restrained.
Hydroponic Farming Industry
Build Requirement: No farmland present.
Input Requirement: Machinery, Organics.
Upkeep: 4
Output: Satisfies demand for food on this colony only. Produces no exportable goods, and generates no income.

2
Suggestions / Player Faction Colour
« on: August 17, 2019, 03:55:16 AM »
This is an issue that goes back some way, and could still use some attention.
Previous thread

The player faction and Tri-Tachyon colourings are really not immediately distinct, and where they appear together it can take some non-zero amount of effort to mentally separate them.
This is an example cropped from the best buy/sell infocard:


Could we look at doing one of two things please?

Change either the Tri-Tachyon or player faction colour in order to make them more noticeably different.
or
Add either a colour picker or a set of preset colour schemes to the player faction.

Making TT a darker blue would be the easiest route.
Eg: Changing TT to 50,159,236 gives the following result. (This is what I have done as a temp fix.)




3
Suggestions / Wouldn't it be nice if....
« on: July 28, 2019, 01:15:57 PM »
Hydroponic Farming Industry

Already exists in-game. Just as a market condition (not sure if this is even used anymore).
(please excuse the random image from the internet squashed into the right size.)

Allows food production on worlds without land suitable for farming.
Produces: Food equivalent to farmland_poor (-1).
Requires: Machinery, Organics.
Upkeep: 4

Procgen for Toxic worlds
Add chance for organics to appear on cat_toxic and toxic_cold worlds, like Salamanca (Yma).
It's all carbon compounds, very probably hydrocarbons if it's being used for plastics like the description says. And considering Titan, it isn't really outlandish to find carbon-rich materials in that environment.
I'd really like more of a reason to use these worlds, but they're almost always entirely ignorable.

Some form of Bookmarks
I'd really like to be able to mark a system as somewhere I want to go back and visit at a later date.
Even if it's just a simple icon dropdown to remind me of why a place is interesting. Because I keep forgetting about things I want to go back to.


Fleet counter
Just a simple number display on the fleet page, which shows how many ship slots are currently free and available for use.
The act of counting "5...10...15...20...25... okay, 3 slots left" has long since outlived it's novelty.

Station Naming
This could do with a bit of variety, because everywhere being named 'Station' looks a bit dull and samey.
Suggest a list which can be drawn from. Maybe something like:
Code
%s Station
%s Orbiter
%s Relay
%s High
%s Depot
%s Citadel
%s Dock
Fort %s
Fortress %s

4
Suggestions / Campaign Map - Exploration Filter
« on: June 23, 2019, 06:00:15 AM »
Currently the campaign map with exploration filter set looks like this:
Spoiler
[close]
Nothing particularly wrong with it. It has a legend which is fairly simple and easy to follow.
My only real, not really a compliant, more of a "it would be nice if...." kind of thing is that it could potentially be easier for the player to quickly see where they have and haven't been if it were more instantly obvious.
We can achieve this by adding some colour.

First thing is to keep the existing legend. Not only does that give useful information via the [  ] boxes, but it's a fallback for any colourblind folk.
We're going add to this instead.
Inhabited systems can stay the same light blue as now.

Fully explored systems would turn green.

Partially explored systems would be orange.

And unexplored systems would be red.


The end result of which would look something like this:
Spoiler
[close]

5
Suggestions / Colony Specialisation via Industries
« on: June 22, 2019, 03:30:24 AM »
This is something I've been thinking about for a while which has something of an "I wish I could do x...." thing.
Personally, I would really like to be able to create forge worlds of nothing but industry, or huge planetary scale mines etc.
This desire has only been encouraged by the recent changes which saw the Industrial Planning skill lose the ability to reduce resource requirements, and so propel resource availability and density to the top of the colonisation requirements list.
And the worldgen seems to take great delight in creating systems which are 'perfect' except for....  ;D

The basis of the premise would be that colonies could be 'specialised' into a particular role by building industries. So nothing vastly different to what we have already.
But, what if you could build multiples of a given industry structure to gain more output of x at the cost of not being able to do anything else?

Scope
So, which buildings are you allowed to have multiples of?
There are two ways to approach this:
  • Producing buildings only
  • Resource collection buildings only
Producing buildings are anything that 'produces' an output that counts towards your faction supply of that resource.
Resource collection buildings are anything that converts a planetary resource into a faction supply of that resource.

Balance
Let's start by saying that we are only interested in allowing this for resource buildings.
What would building an extra mine or farm get the player?
I think that a fair starting point would be to have each extra building add +1 of whatever is being produced.

Okay, so what is this costing the player?
The obvious costs would be firstly the industry slot, which can now no longer be used for anything else so long as this 'extra' building is in place. And secondly the construction and maintenance cost of the building itself.

Do we need to do anything else?
At this stage, possibly not. The player can generate extra outputs by creating specialised mining/farming worlds at the cost of losing the flexibility of having a more diverse array of industries.
That seems like a reasonable tradeoff.

What if we want to include all industries?
This would become more complicated, as we're now doubling up on secondary resources which both have an input and output which come from a faction rather than a static resource. ie; taking a primary resource and 'refining' it into another type of resource, thus something the player can manipulate.

Let us say we're happy with the original setup above of +1 output per extra building.
How do we avoid the situation of the player creating resources out of nothing by doubling up 'refining' buildings?
The most obvious way of doing this would be to have each extra building create an additional +1 demand for whatever resources it requires as an input.

That's neat. But how do we handle nanoforges/synchrotrons etc?
There are 2 possible ways of doing this I can think of, and only one of them seems sensible.
The first way would be to have each nanoforge (I'm going to use 'nanoforge' to mean 'any industry boosting item') to apply it's bonus to the industry as normal, which would allow the player to stack outputs and generate quite a lot of output.
Eg:
Let's take a smallish colony with a single heavy industry with an output of 4 supplies. If we add a red nanoforge it become 5 supplies.
If we then build an additional industry we have 6 supplies, and adding another nanoforge results in 7 supplies.
With green forges this number becomes 11!
With this setup, even a single additional industry with forges would propel the player right to the top of the export charts with only a modest colony.
Even with this small colony we can see this is not the way we want to handle this.

A better way of handling forges is to use the 'best' available bonus and apply that to the whole planet once while ignoring all the others.
This would result in the same planet above with 2 industries giving a maximum output of 8. (4 base +1 from extra building +3 from green forge.)
Okay, that's more sensible.

How would a bigger colony look?
Let's say we now have a base output of 5 and build 2 additional buildings. So that's an output of 7.
With a red forge that becomes 8. And with a green forge 10.
That is not exactly a trivial output and would likley put the player at (or at least near) the top of the list.

We weren't happy with this before, so why should we be now?
The player will have had to grow thier colony an additional step, which is more of an investment of time in 0.9.1 than previously.
Additionally, each industry takes 4 in-game months to build and requires an upfront cost of 0.5M, for a total investment of 1.5M and a no possibility of having the incredibly useful military base.
Is this a fair tradeoff? Possibly.

One potential means of further balancing extra buildings is to have each subsequent building of the same type cost more than the previous one.
Not entirely sure this would be nescessary, but it is worth thinking about.

What can we do with all these nanoforges that are not being used?
One possible idea would be to allow a nanoforge to be installed in every heavy industry, and only count the 'best' one as a bonus toward exortable output as above.
The other forges could then provide a boost to the number of supplies etc. available to the player via the planetary stockpile.
This would give the player a use for (some of) the rather large number of forges which can be recovered via salvaging.

Is this the kind of thing that anyone would be interested in?

6
Suggestions / Mora hardpoint change
« on: February 01, 2019, 07:32:26 AM »
The Mora has a single forward facing small ballistic hardpoint, which imo is really hard to justify using at all.
It doesn't have the turn rate to do anything with it beyond taking the odd potshot at targets passing through the limited firing arc. Which invariably miss as hardpoints cannot lead targets.
Not to mention the flux issues the Mora has.

Suggestion:
Change mora.ship, turret ID WS 002, line 121 from BALLISTIC to MISSILE



Other changes I made to further support this:
mora_Assault.variant, line 16, WS 002 lightac -> sabot
mora_Strike.variant, line 15, WS 002 lightac -> harpoon
mora_Support.variant, line 15 , WS 002 lightac -> swarmer

The AI appears to have no issues with these changes, and Moras (Morae?) are now slightly more flexible and (feel like they) are a tiny bit more dangerous.

7
General Discussion / Player Owned Stations
« on: December 17, 2018, 06:31:38 AM »
This is something I've been thinking about for a while, and some talk in another thread re: metals and what to do with them has kicked me in the rear.

So, I would love to be able to own space stations floating out in the void like pirates and pathers do. But how would you go about doing that?
First off you've have to decide if they count as colonies or not. I'd like to err on the side of not, as 7 total is fairly restrictive to start with (if you're avoiding or otherwise don't have access to 'other' things).
But how do you then control how many the player can have so they don't spam them everywhere?
Maybe linking it to your actual colonies, first stab at it might be something like:
  • You can't have station without first having a colony to support it
  • You can build one station at first
  • Plus one additional station for every 2 levels of development of your largest colony

This would mean with your largest world at size 3 you could build a base somewhere.
Once the colony gets to size 5, you can build a total of 2 bases. Size 7, 3 bases. And size 9, 4 bases.
Maybe also size 10 unlocks another one for 5 total, as that's a fairly big milestone in it's own right.
Honestly I don't know, there's probably a better way of doing it.

But for the sake of argument, let's say we have our mechanic figured out and we want to build a base somewhere.
Where are we allowed to build it?
Again, first pass at some basic rules might look like:
  • Not allowed to build in hyperspace
  • Allowed to build anywhere inside a solar system
  • Bases built adjacent to massive objects will orbit/stay with said objects, and be considered close enough for 'easy' travel to & from said object

So we have a site for a base, let's say it's inside a clump of 'trojan' asteroids, so it will orbit with them and stay nice and hidden.
Now we have to build it. What with though? How about all those thousands of units of metals that routinely get tossed out of our airlocks?
For the sake of guessing at numbers, let's say that the bare bones of a station will take something on the order of ~5000 metal to complete. It wouldn't have to be present all in one chunk, deliveries by piecemeal would also work.
We'd also need some equipment to build things with, and eventually fit into the base itself. Let's say ~300 units of equipment.

This process might take several months to complete, and require some 'workers' (~200?) to build the thing, plus maybe an administrator to oversee it (giving a bit of extra purpose to those no/low skill ones).
And maybe right at the end, you'd need ~50 transmetals and 100 fuel to jumpstart the reactor or something.

So let's imagine that's all done and you now have what is essentially a 'colony' in space.
First off it might be a good idea to start it off smaller at size 2 (hundreds of people) just because living in space is harder, people don't like it as much etc etc. And the hazard would be 100% because it's literally made to accomodate people.
Let's also say that the room to create industries is very limited due to space constraints. So lets' say that a new station has only 3 industry slots, one of which will be the population. And one of which will be a port, because a space station essentialy is a port. In space.
Neither of these can be removed (like pop on planets).
That's small. Yes it is, but it forces you to choose the one thing you want this place to do, and encourages you to expand it further.

On to expansion.
I imagine that a station would not be able to grow it's population on its own like a planet would, due to a very limited amont of room available inside.
So you would have to do that exapnsion for them, by using more of those metals that keep getting collected.
As a first take of how you'd progress this how about:
  • Upgrade to size 3 - 2000 metal + 100 equip
  • Upgrade to size 4 - 4000 metal + 200 equip
  • Upgrade to size 5 - 8000 metal + 400 equip

I'd be tempted to stop there and limit stations to size 5 (hundreds of thousands of people), but you can see how the progression goes. Again, maybe there's another and better way of doing this.
As the station is expanded you'd unlock more possible space for population AND industry:
  • Size 3 - +1 industry, 4 total
  • Size 4 - +1 industry, 5 total
  • Size 5 - +1 industry, 6 total

So it's still very limited compared to a planet, but unlike a planet can always be in a convenient location.
Again, fine (or indeed any) tuning is required.

Above there was mention of station orbiting nearby massive objects, like a planet or moon.
And there was also mention that this would be considered to be within 'easy' travel distance.
This is to allow stations the ability to collect resources should any be nearby and the player is willing to use the limited industry slots.
Any collection industries would use the hazard rating of the host body for upkeep purposes, AND add half of any hazard above 100% to the population upkeep as a few people will (be forced to) brave all kinds of horrid conditions in order to enable your imperialist fantasies.
(You monster. :P)
For the sake of simplicity let us limit this collection ability explictly to the one body the station is orbiting.

The industries need some rules for them as well, to make sure things make sense:
  • Cannot build collection industries unless orbiting a body with collectable materials
  • Cannot build planetary shields due to not being a planet
  • Cannot build tech mining unless orbiting a body with ruins
Maybe there needs to be others, but that's all I can think of for now.

The player could also make similar use of the various abandoned stations that are found dotted about the sector.
Re-building a derelict station would, in theory be an easier job than building one from scratch and so should probably cost less in both material and time.
It would be nice if there was some variation on how much of a 'discount' you'd get from re-building a station, and maybe there's be a few that are so far gone that it would be pointless to even try.
Anyway, the trade off from re-building an old station is that it might not be in an ideal location. And probably more importantly, you won't be able to recover any loot from the salvaging.
Which would mean that literally no-one would ever do this....
So we need some way of giving the player at least something, a reason to do this instead of just collecting the swag.

We can't really use tech mining as that's just ripping things apart and picking out the good bits, and ripping out bits of the station people are trying to live in doesn seem all that sensible.
Maybe if a recovered station had an intrinsic 'tech mining lite' ability built into it, like a hidden industry in a hidden slot that can't be affected or interacted with at all. And this would end up giving the player the same-ish amount and quality of loot, just spread over a longer period with notifications like "During a cargo inventory several items were found...", or "During routine maintenance a technician discoved the following items..." and just have these items be limited to blueprints, equipment, cores, and maybe some map hints for undiscoverd places/things (should any still exist).

This is a huge wall of text full of all kinds of things which may, or may not be balanced or even fun.
It's just a big pile of guessing and whatiffery. Which is why it's not in suggestions.

It would be super if you could discuss this further and maybe come up with some better ways of doing this than I have.

8
Suggestions / 0.9 Thoughts and Requests
« on: December 03, 2018, 12:43:39 PM »
Intel

Would it be possible to include another filter tab soley to display all known hostile bases?
They are currently in the exploration tab, which gets kind of busy. (And most of which is duplicated in the fleet log). Separating them would be a fairly simple ease-of-use improvement.

Would it also be possible to allow filtering the planet list by resource?
A simple checkbox array would do just fine.

And could ruins be marked in some way on the planet list once they have been visited?
Something simple like:


In the system view, would it be possible to show an overview of the resources in the whole system?
Just the greatest value for each one if present would be fine.

Colonies


Could the industry mouseover tooltips have their cash output and overall profit generated added alongside the maintenance cost please?
Basically a consolidation of the Command -> Income breakdown, but accessible without having to leave the colony management screen.

If a colony is using stockpiled resources, could those resources be highlighted in some way in the stockpile 'market' screen?
A tooltip with 'days this amount will last' on it would also be great.

Would it be possible to look into the possibility of introducing some 'mundane' means of mitigating some of the maintenance costs on higher hazard worlds?
Possibly something that trades future growth potential for economic stability.
Eg:
Spoiler
Artificial Cavern System
Limitations: Planet is not habitable. Not a gas giant. Not a water planet.
Requires: x Industry slots. ~1 year of building. (thinking either 4 or 6 slots)
Cost: 250K credits * (size of pop -2)^2.  - 250K to excavate a size 3. ~20M to excavate a size 10.
Effects:
  • Adds planetary modifier "Habitable Caverns" with -(current rating/6)% hazard modifer
  • Reduces population growth by x% due to limited space (-50%, maybe greater)
  • Reduces accessibilty by -10% due to congested entryways
  • Increases ground defence rating by +50%

OR

Another skill tree to add some maint. reduction on higher hazard worlds. That way the player can choose that path if they want/need to.
Environmental Hazard Management
Class: Industry
Level 1: -15% maintenance costs on planets with a hazard rating of 150-175
Level 2: -25% maintenance costs on planets with a hazard rating of 200-250
Level 3: -35% maintenance costs on planets with a hazard rating of 275+

I have this weird complusion to create massive comfy metropoli every time population management is a thing in a game.
Eh. They're probably not terribly well balanced anyway.
[close]

I absolutely love the idea of being able to build bases out in the wilds of space like the pirates do. And would jump all over the ability to create a vast floating city in the middle of nowhere.
Spoiler
Not sure how this would be balanced though. Possibly through some kind of unlockable slot mechanic, or skill?
But I have the idea that they would have some industries 'built-in':
  • Waysation (the graphic for this is a space station)
  • Space Port
  • Space Station

As a free floating station would essentialy be all those things. And maybe it would have a more limited amount of slots, and you'd have to build more yourself thus incurring more costs.
And if they're built around an object with resources, they can host industries to extract those.
Not really a priority. More of a whimsical dream.
[close]

General/Cosmetic


If a gas giant is colonised could the hyperspace well/entrance created by it's mass be re-named to match whatever the player calls the colony, or is this too much hassle for a cosmetic issue?

On the hyperspace campaign map, could hazard beacons have thier tooltips state which level they are?
They are currently all labelled simply labelled 'Hazard Beacon', with the only differentiating trait being colour. Of which, only the red really stands out.

9
General Discussion / Pirate and Pather Bases
« on: November 29, 2018, 11:43:13 AM »
So, our Pirate and Luddic friends now spawn bases from which to harrass all the colonies we create.
Okay. It's a decent source of entirely optional drama that gently encourages you to do something about it without being too obnoxious.

There's something which I've encountering which have been making things a bit less fun than they could be.

Base spawning.
Whatever settings there are, the numbers are too big. These bases can, and do spawn an absolutely incredible distance from thier 'assigned' targets.

eg:
The Pirates have decided that they want to be a nuisance and have started raiding shipping etc. giving all the colonies in this system (bottom right) a horrible -3 stability and -50% accessibility.
They'll have to go.
I've found where their base is located, and was not impressed. As you can see from the map below the distance from the pirate base to the targetted colony is approx 2/3 the width of the entire sector.


I took a fleet out to see what I could do about it, the journey was a pain in the behind with no clear path through the storms, with those same storms flirting you in every direction except the one you want to go.
Annoying. The trip took approx 2000 fuel and 800 supplies with a fleet composed of mainly cruisers.
(2x Dominator, 3x Falcon, 3x Heron, 1x Mora, 1x Drover, 1x Harbinger, 3x Wolf, 3x Colossus, 1x Prometheus)
When I got there, I managed to clear some of the many pirate fleets, but not nearly enough to make any headway with the base spawning more. (aka - I got my face pushed in by a massive pile of trash ships.)
So it looks like I'm going to need possibly multiple capital ships, plus support, plus lots of carriers with fighters to get this base to stop messing with my dudes. Yes, there are that many ships patrolling the system.
The flight out was not fun at all, and I'm really not looking forward to dragging capitals (plus the extra ships to carry the extra supplies and fuel) through all that muck.

Why are these aggro bases spawning this far from the colonies they are 'attached' to?



10
Suggestions / Industry Item/Tile Colour Contrast
« on: November 28, 2018, 09:24:09 AM »
Would it be possible to add a high(er) contrast border or highlight to the installed items on colony industry tiles please?
Or some other means of making the these items stand out a bit more when installed?

I've been having some problems picking out the red coloured cores and forges etc. They seem to not be quite as distinct as the other colours, and blend into the tile graphics quite well.


11
Bug Reports & Support / Restoring variant shiptypes resets to base type
« on: November 24, 2018, 02:31:59 PM »
Sometimes when restoring a ship which is a variant of a standard ship, the hull gets 'restored' to it's original form.

I was restoring some ships which have been through the mill enough they were only kind of recognisable anymore.
And one of my Falcon (P)s became this:
Spoiler
[close]

12
Bug Reports & Support / Future Java Availablity
« on: July 21, 2018, 03:33:06 AM »
With respect to the following link, do you have any plans regarding the future availablity of Java?
https://www.java.com/en/download/release_notice.jsp

Granted this only really becomes a problem at the end of 2020, but it would be nice to know there is a plan in place to deal with it.

13
Suggestions / Ships in Storage
« on: November 25, 2017, 04:51:21 AM »
Not really a huge priority, just a bit of QoL for the future.

Would it be possible to be able to refit ships that are in storage?
I've found that it's mildly annoying to have to un-store a ship, refit, then re-store it in order to remove a single weapon that I want to use elsewhere.

14
Suggestions / Automated Repair Unit
« on: June 18, 2017, 02:33:36 AM »
The ARU seems to be a mediocre use of precious OP space, which while nice to have doesn't really give you much return for your investment.
To be honest, the only reason I'd currently use the ARU is for the CR preservation in order to fight multiple battles in quick succession. And even then it would be used only if there was enough OP left after fitting more important things, which there frequently isn't.
It just isn't 'attractive' enough to get used most of the time.

What I would like to see is an addition to the ARU that makes it actually useful for keeping ships alive. Something that would make it worth giving up something else for.
Something like.... The ability to repair the hull of a ship in battle.
Like the Damage Control skill from 0.7. (as scripted by DamageControlPerk2_1)

Since it would be no longer a skill based 'freebie' but rather something you'd have to spend OPs on, I don't think it would be too much.
Whether the hullmod would then need a slight size increase or not is another consideration.

Thoughts?

15
Bug Reports & Support (modded) / Java heap size mismatch
« on: June 15, 2017, 12:15:21 PM »
Not a bug, but somewhat technical.

While playing I got a little red text in the notification area about java minimum and maximum heap sizes not being the same repreated roughly once a minute.
I always thought the minimum (-xms) was the memory it got allocated when starting, and the maximum (-xmx) was what it was allowed to expand that to if it needed it.

I currently have vmparams set @ -Xms1536m -Xmx3584m.
Does SS need the maximum size to be declared as the starting amount now? (eg: Should I now use -Xms3584m -Xmx3584m?)
The game plays fine with my current settings, but the constant redtext is irritating.
Never seen it do this before, and I've used a small & large setting basically forever.

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