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Messages - Eji1700

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1
General Discussion / Re: Does anyone else prefer using mainly frigates?
« on: January 19, 2021, 12:03:11 PM »
Yeah i almost always have one or two frigate packs with my fleet (4-8 ships).

As mentioned  Omens/Tempests are godly, but I'll usually use wolfs/lashers which can put out a surprising amount of punishment when designed with squad tactics in mind.  Have one or two loaded up with harpoons, and another set on more disabling tactics like salamanders and ions, and they can put in work.   I usually just put 3 protecting one and then let them figure it out.

2
General Discussion / Re: Any Chance of a Surprise Christmas update Alex?
« on: December 24, 2020, 11:11:32 AM »
No chance, I think. The trick to seeing the update immediately is to check the forum multiple times a day! And Alex's twitter account!
Alternatively i have the discord channel mostly muted except for announcements so i know when something big drops.

But yeah devs are humans too. I very much doubt we'll be seeing the patch before the new year. It could happen, but this time of year everything takes more time because people often have real life commitments.

3
Blog Posts / Re: Writing Starsector
« on: December 17, 2020, 02:24:40 PM »
"Conclusion: we don’t as a rule do skill checks in dialog – there’s an exception, but it’s largely for flavor – instead we use story points to let players choose when and how to be a totally awesome hero of their own story."

This might be a missed opportunity.  It doesn't take a lot to have skill checks feel like a nice way to really personalize a run.  They don't need to be huge, but "sneak in instead of shoot everyone" is a pretty classic one.  Going back to your archetypes, if we're han solo "bribe the man and be on our way" is probably just as valid as "*** you come get some", but it feels a little better when the first one is "locked" behind having the right skills, or even equipment (shielded hulls in this case).

Obviously you have to be careful because for many people this doesn't become player expression so much as one more thing to route and min max (always make sure you have a plot ship with solar shields/shielded hull/etc so you can trigger the better plot choices), but so long as the skill versions aren't 100% superior, and just feel more "in character" they can be a really good way to get value out of multiple runs.

Overall i get it (one less thing to develop/balance/test for questionable returns) but i'm hoping that at the very least we can mod some stuff in?

4
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 16, 2020, 04:21:27 PM »
Thank you all!


"Pirate bases should no longer spawn in systems with neutron stars/pulsars"


Have to say i'm kinda sad to see this.  I was hoping for a more creative solution, such as making it kinda rare/special and with some wonky effects.  Something like having a few results where either they're totally unprepared so their fleets are just a mess, or they have some special feature/items that you normally wouldn't find at a pirate base so it's worth visiting, or even them being some sort of super high tech pirates so the base is actually a high tech with high tech ships sort of thing.

This mostly has to do with fleet AI just not being able to handle pulsars. If I ever have the time (ha) to dedicated to making it handle them, that might be reconsidered, but the likelihood of this seems low. It's just a complicated problem to solve. (And now that I'm talking about it, I kind of want to try. Must. Resist.)


Well to be fair that's why i was shooting for the age old developer solution of "Feature! Not a bug".

In lore reason either being they're just falling apart because they don't know how to handle living next to a pulsar, or they're all equipped with solar shielding in and the like and thus immune/special.

Either way doesn't require an AI rework, just a gameplay tweak (super weak, or high tech and unusually strong.  Both ways you could tell from the fleet that you should be dealing with pulsar systems).  Then make it rare because it's odd enough you don't want it happening all the time.

Anyways just spit balling here. Ripping it out/waiting until you feel like tackling the AI side are both legit too.

5
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.95a (In Development) Patch Notes
« on: October 16, 2020, 02:30:27 PM »
"Moving Slowly"

Love all of it.  More depth to movement is something i've rambled about a ton, and this is exactly the kind of stuff that I was hoping for.  Intuitive changes that can make looking at the map more interactive as you figure out how to approach something, and what skills you might use to do so.

"Skill system revamp:"


Obviously hype to see how this goes.  I'm sure there will be some initial rough spots but in general i think skills systems are something that should be fun, and often aren't, so any game experimenting there is heading in the right direction in my book.

"Officers:"

Great.  Love that they're capped at 5 now, felt kinda tedious before.

"Added "personal contacts" mechanics:"


Very hype for this.  I'm hoping it gives some depth to the fleet communication/relations that exist. 

"Adjusted AI fleet compositions:"

Glad to hear this.  "ALL THE CAPITALS" felt odd in a lot of ways, but especially for pirate armadas.  Power should scale without having to just send X of the biggest thing.

"Can use a story point to recover an otherwise unrecoverable derelict ship (only applies to derelict ships found in the campaign, not during a combat encounter)

    Some ships (such as REDACTED ships when the player doesn't have the proper skill) are not recoverable this way"


Maybe i'm reading this wrong, but won't this lead to "always have 1 story point" situations because you don't know when it'll come up and matter?

"Requires fuel and heavy machinery (consumed) and an Alpha Core (not consumed
)"

In general i love the idea of expanding the uses of items like this.  Having X item in inventory lets you do Y is often decently interesting progression, especially when its something like a core that can get you in trouble.

"Pirate bases should no longer spawn in systems with neutron stars/pulsars"


Have to say i'm kinda sad to see this.  I was hoping for a more creative solution, such as making it kinda rare/special and with some wonky effects.  Something like having a few results where either they're totally unprepared so their fleets are just a mess, or they have some special feature/items that you normally wouldn't find at a pirate base so it's worth visiting, or even them being some sort of super high tech pirates so the base is actually a high tech with high tech ships sort of thing. 

"Colonies/exploration/related:"

All sounds interesting.

"Revamped ground raid mechanics"

As always love all of this for adding more depth and not just being a dialogue option you mash through.

"Combat:"


In general lots of qol and i've already talked before about how I like that buoy's are now going to introduce beginners to the idea of post combat start deployments/retreats.

"Ships/systems:"


Brawler- losing damper field feels sad.  Maybe it's more fun to pilot but it made it a great AI ship.
Onslaught- awesome.
Gemini- Interesting.  It's a favorite of my early game so i'm curious to see how it plays out.
Drover- I like this, especially more cargo nerfs in general.  The "support" section of your fleet feels incidental right now, and it really should be more of a cost.

"Weapons/fighters:"


I like basically all of this.  Feels like trying to bring things in line rather than just playing wack a mole with what's currently good. Always more interesting because it keeps fun things fun.

"Hullmods:"


As always i love anything that makes civilian ship sprites more likely to wind up on screen.  If time is going to be spent making it then it should have a reason to show up in battle even if it's niche.  Very curious how the "remove fighter bays" thing will play out.  Shield shunt also seems like it should be fun to play with.

"Ship AI:"

Quality of life heaven.

"the rest"


All good.

Can't wait until we can mess with it.

6
Suggestions / Re: Possible "Empty mounts spam" solution?
« on: August 25, 2020, 12:45:07 AM »
Hmm. I feel like this is assuming that "having weapons in all slots" is a good thing regardless of *why* there are weapons in all slots. I don't think that holds up - having weapons in all slots is good if you, well, want the weapons that are there and mean to use them.

Just having some random stuff there - or the cheapest possible, to be able to max out vents - or some other idea (say, not having weapons in a slot reduces armor, or w/e)... I think that'd just make a loadout feel messy, because you're putting weapons in for some reason other than actually wanting the weapons. "Put the weapons in a separate group and never fire them" could become a thing, etc.

I'm not entirely sold on the premise that "always have weapons in all slots" is good. If that were a goal, though, then I think the solution would probably involve increasing ship flux budgets (which could be troublesome to iron out balance-wise) and/or adding some very low-end, low-flux options for ... probably small and medium ballistic/energy slots. Though even if these cost 1-2 OP and generated no flux, it might be a hard sell in a lot of cases.

It seems like there is also some potential in somehow making burst damage potential "better" (which would make an over-fluxed loadout more desirable), but I haven't really thought that through, so that's mostly theoretical...
I 100% think it should be a viable option to "under mount" a ship, but I also feel like it shouldn't be the go to?

From a casual perspective "moar dakka" is intuitive and fun (just seeing your capital armed to the teeth is a nice feeling), but there's a heavy learning curve on kitting out some of the larger ships, making it very easy to accidentally over spec them.

I think the first thing to help with this would be clearer feedback on flux stats.  It's SO important but it's just "more numbers" on a screen that's already overwhelming with them. 

Having flux dissipation right next to(not on a line below) weapon flux (both on the main screen and the weapon group screen) would help really draw eyes on the idea that comparing these two numbers is super super vital.  Bonus points if you can color code the dissipation number on some % scheme (super green when it's 2 to 1 and super red when it's 1 to 2 or something).   Or maybe just put the % efficiency right next to it instead (numbers easier than colors?  I dunno UI is the devil and its half my job).

This, again will help beginners really keep an eye on both the actual ships overall flux, and what it looks like for each weapon group, hopefully also teaching the idea of strategic weapon group usage/show off why missiles can be so good.

Somewhat related to this is the fact that ships don't come stock with weapons, unless recovered (and post salvage with a few).  There are premade loadouts, but as a beginner i'd click on those, get annoyed that I didn't have all the weapons an it just "winged it", now had no idea if that was any good, and basically  gave up with it (since hunting down a bunch of weapons just to test a maybe ok loadout isn't exactly fun with rng shops and no idea how to tell what planets might have what you're looking for).

I feel it might help if they did, and even if not, if maybe more premade loadouts were under gunned.  Really drive home there's some great builds that center around putting on some killer weaponry but not bothering to fill out the rest.


7
General Discussion / Re: Most underdeveloped aspect of game?
« on: August 20, 2020, 07:51:00 PM »
I'd say ship to ship communication.

I know that on some level this is because it's part of the story stuff, but seems a waste that I can communicate with all these other ships, and the options are just a shell of a system that will (hopefully) eventually be fleshed out.

At the very least in the EV games you could occasionally get simple missions from it, temporary escorts, and a few other things (fuel mainly, but there's a system for that.).

I'd love to see some level of depth, especially since it seems a decent amount of effort went into making pilots uniuqe and giving EACH ONE OF THEM a rep system.

I'd love the idea where you smuggle to a planet in the hegemony, which hates you, by bribing all the local pilots enough that they don't inspect you fleet, and similar stuff like that.

8
Blog Posts / Re: Re.: Personal Contacts
« on: August 13, 2020, 10:08:06 PM »
stuff about objectives letting you deploy more
Dunno if it was intentional but I really like how elegant that solution is at also getting the player to think about deployment.  It's a neat system that feels completely overlooked as 90% of the playerbase likely just shows up in their initial fleet and begins chucking hulls at the enemy until there's nothing left.

Pausing to asses who's out of ammo and should retreat vs who can come in to replace them and similar things was a really cool way to find use out of some ships that I didn't really discover for awhile because deployment wasn't actively encouraged.

9
Blog Posts / Re: Personal Contacts
« on: August 13, 2020, 06:45:41 PM »
I haven't slept most of this week so this all just kinda popped into my head while i was giggling reading the update.  Feel free to just take it for the lunacy that it is and skip it.
Spoiler
With the closing of the comlink the contract is signed.  The order for fuel needs to go through.  A brief stop at an abandoned terraforming platform and a month later the pilot arrives at a tiny colony at the edge of the cluster.  A backwater to backwaters this worthless speck of dust, rock, and cold has barely even been able to provide fuel for itself let alone the order requested, but that cannot do.

Mass industry begins to mobilize as credits pour in to attract enough bodies to handle the demand.  No longer a hidden wasteland to fade from the eye of civilization, every suitable inch is to be converted into anti matter producing factories.  The logistic railways of the future are laid across the stars and access to the barely born colony begins to flow while the factories begin to grow.  What once could have easily passed for yet another uninhabited hellscape has become a industrial mecca at the end of a credit fueled pilgrimage.  The order might be filled.  Profit begins to flow as for the first time since life graced the surface, the colony has an export and for the first time the market is aware.

The industry is humming and the fuel is pumping when pilot pulls from their cargo holds a metal seed that will grow into plenty.  A pulsating metallic heart of an empire long past, the Synchrotron liberated from the decay-less death of space is plugged in, hums to life, and beats as though it had never stopped.  The order will be filled.  The market is concerned.

What was once a view of the galaxy unhindered is now blocked by the bulk of the shipping freighters arriving around the clock, bringing precious materials before filling up with as much fuel as they can carry and burning out again.  An infinite stream of life stretches across the horizon and the past and present can be seen in real time.  Next Tuesday arrives as the most recent birthed star of engine light at the edge of the gate while last Wednesday continues to burn its way through the gridlocked sky. The market is now in panic. The order must be filled.

Grudges forgotten and status quo's threatened a crusade of violent metal is assembled as livelyhoods collapse.  What was once a vibrant economy has been submerged under the constant infinite flow of the fuel from the edge.  It began as concerns about warehousing and illicit surplus, but has devolved into quaking panic as entire moons are overflown with the annihilator mana. A commodity who's scarcity balanced the relative tranquility of drowsy toddler empires is now so abundant as to be as worthless as the lives of those conscripted in the eyes of their terrified lords.  Sent off to build a dam of corpses and stem the flow.

The rate is incalculable. Impossible. Inhuman.  The worst is assumed and the final fleet is dispatched. The taboo is broken clear as the order in the chaos and it must be cleansed.  For the many lives that are about to be lost it will be because they have nothing left in the crush of an economy they could not understand, but for these souls it will be because of a threat they wish they could only be ignorant of.  Whatever the normal citizen fears from the false gods of trade they do not know the eldritch terror of the unhindered AI.

The colony becomes the star of malevolence when the fleets meet in the soundless trenches of space.  The profit has been spent and the system fortified. A hardened shell of weaponry and income, the battle rages from hyperspace to surface in an endless pile of rearranged carbon and light. Though the fuel is beyond measure the defenses are not, and through the splintered hulls and bone the invaders continue to press.  Glory to those who will fill the order.

And with the stars themselves alight with chaos, and the blink of an eye production wonder reduced back to ash like some cosmic mayfly that has pulled the souls of its species with it, the pilot races through hyper space in their escape pod. The dark and crammed quarters finally illuminate.  Finally in range of a beacon, the message comes through. 

Contract complete. 150,000c transferred

"neat" says the pilot.
[close]

tl;dr;omg;wtf-
1. Log scaling is fun and I neeeeeed sleep.
2. Hope if we're going to give incentives to player colonies to fill orders that we've had some tweaks to the late game economy so that isn't an automatic declaration of galactic war like it is now.
3. I love the changes.  As always i enjoy seeing more player decision and depth added.  I'm sure it's going to come with some tweaking but the concept is great, and I'm hoping plays into other systems as well (black market cough cough).

10
I don't get how would you make this a challenge when it's just pure luck
That's the point.  I don't agree with everything in the OP (especially that fast start is bad), but the issue is that it probably shouldn't be just pure luck.  There really should be some other gate depending on your playstyle.  Maybe combat heavy fleets can raid a heavily defended world or salvage heavy fleets can get a high enough salvage skill with support ships to find one and get it online, but the "roll dice with a modifier" kinda lends itself to just blowing out the game.

It's ok as is, and i'm not sure it's bad enough to be a dev concern now (or maybe ever), but it's absolutely something that could be more interesting.   In general it'd be a lot more fun if finding a legion/core/forge/whatever in the early game marked it on the map, but required some sort of skill/ship/hull/combat/whatever investment, so you're likely going to have to remember that spot (which the game already does for you) and come back later better equipped.

At the very least you're now turning a "oops got lucky, guess it's over" scenario into "oops got lucky, i've now got a short term goal"...which may still functionally end the game depending on other factors (as always econ could use a lot of smoothing out imo), but at least there's more gameplay to it other than die roll.

11
Announcements / Re: Starsector 0.9.1a (Released) Patch Notes
« on: August 10, 2020, 09:59:55 AM »
No update still? To get people through another wave of lock down + summer holidays?
Poor show...
Really dude? What dev's live in a magic bubble so world events don't effect them?

12
General Discussion / Re: Anyone else check the website everyday??
« on: July 08, 2020, 11:44:21 AM »
I've got the discord muted except for the announcements channel so if I see a new message I know there's likely something i'll want to check out.

13
I would personally really like a hull mod/story point thing/flipping something that lets us weaken minimum armor.

The idea of using a well placed thumper/devastator to rip through something or just "moar dakka' chewing apart a ship with enough vulcans should be doable/fun.  Probably shouldn't be the go to strategy, but it really feels like it's a lot of effort to setup the sorts of scenarios where this stuff would even matter, and the payoff is pretty poor.

Edit-

In relation to thumper slipping shots between shields-

And?  Like if it's too good sure tone it down, but yeah i'd really like more weapons that reward precision stuff like that.  Nothing feels better than a long range reaper, so i'm not really worried about the idea that with the right build a thumper might actually stick around in a late game fleet.

14
Having bad ships is absolutely critical. Pirates need to fly clunkers for the early game progression to make sense.

I disagree, sort of.

Yes having early game pirates in super ships is bad, but I think the "draw" of games like escape velocity was the idea that in player hands, I could take ANYTHING, and turn it into my ship(and you very much could).

To me it's a huge waste of effort to spend all this time creating assets and code for all these things, and then to just cut off entire avenues of gameplay because "well obviously they suck". Especially when you've already got a system in the game to help with this (d mods).  This was arguably a big complaint among the EV:Nova community (vellos were super restricted and Polaris were just better by design)

One of my favorite mods for the old EV's to help with replay value was themed starts (ditto for any RPG like Skyrim/Fallout).  For starsector the idea that you could start as a rim explorer, faction officer, bounty hunter, or pirate clan leader all make a ton of sense, and punishing the player for enjoying that playstyle doesn't make a ton of sense to me.

I'm hoping story points fix this to some extent, and if i actually put up and shut up it's one of the first things i'd try to mod, but this "it must be this way" mindset in general is usually wrong.  There's so many games out there that there's almost always a counter example.

All that said, and to be fair to the devs, dev time is a finite thing.  I get a "it's good enough for me" approach when you've got a million other features to work on that we don't even know about, but speaking from a pure theory standpoint I absolutely believe that "Every ship is viable in a players fleet" is an achievable, if very difficult, goal.  Especially given we've already got so many easy ways to asymmetrically tweak things (hull mods, player skills, and upcoming story points)

15
aaaaaahhh now I get it
I was using them in a Gryphon, so there were very little missile "maneuvers" from launch to full activation. Their tracking description should be changed, honestly... semi-tracking or smth

Yeah you don't need to look at the target at all to have squalls hit them.  You can fire completely perpendicular and they'll reorient and smash into them.   Assuming they can't actually maneuver anyways.  The pressure they put out, especially in mass, can be brutal though.  They aren't killing anything without some sort of support though.

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