And how can I most quickly and easily trigger the change so I can force the Tri-Tachyon outpost in Magec to show me the super rare high tech stuff like longbows, tridents, wasps, hyperions, afflictors, apogees, auroras, and astrals?
I also wouldn't mind knowing how to find the other ships I've never seen in stores after reaching level 40-something and so many hours of gameplay, like the mining pods, warthogs, valkyries, and ventures.
[EDIT] I guess nobody knows this? Does anyone at least know if the above mentioned ships and fighters are ever for sale in campaign mode?
You know, this is *exactly* the sort of thing that'd be very helpful to see and something I could possibly act on - if there's a fight the AI loses/takes a lot of damage in where it really shouldn't. Even if it's something like a 50/50 chance to lose/take major damage, that'd be a good test case to look at and use to improve the AI.
If I can figure out how to make fraps record at lower file sizes, I'll just start recording my entire play sessions and cut out little clips of when it happens that severely, since I intend to keep playing this way.
I also found myself smiling at the description of the orbital lasers that "push back" the jungle and wildlife, leaving great expanses of ash for fertile crop growing. How delightfully utilitarian! Reminds me of a sci-fi novel I once read.
The first video's example was the only one where the autopiloted ship had significant (soft) flux before dropping shields. The first and second videos' examples were the only ones where the enemies were far off enough for it to seem excusable or a fluke. The third video's examples are the closest to what I've been seeing more consistently during a lot of gameplay and a lot of testing loadouts in the refit sim with autopilot.
I've seen this kind of thing happen with faster, more maneuverable ships like the medusa, too. I've been seeing it happen with much more serious consequences than the videos show, if that matters. Posting about this at all was prompted by my encountering it for about the hundredth time and getting blasted down to a quarter hull in a fight my ship shouldn't have taken any damage at all from (just a bunch of frigates and a weak destroyer).
I'd be very surprised if I was the first person to notice this, though I guess not a lot of people run around in a single ship set to autopilot. I don't remember this kind of thing being a problem in the versions I played before combat readiness was implemented, though I might just not have noticed.
Also, it boggles my mind that you consider it out of the ordinary for someone who mentions a possible bug or issue to provide some kind of evidence and clearer examples of what they're talking about. What if the people who play your game are mistaken, or stupid? You'd have wasted your time on a wild goose chase with something that wasn't even a real issue!
Anyway, even if what i've been seeing has affected my own gameplay to a mildly frustrating degree, it really isn't an issue if the vast majority of people don't play the way I do, I guess.
I also like the idea of returning to your storage on a world/outpost that's been unstable lately to find that the Onslaught you stored has had its armor and weapons stripped. More, logical incentives to care about stability would be welcome.
On topic - I would also like to see high chances of your storage being raided on a planet that is in crisis for commodities that you have stored there, especially.
Sorry for the wait, I had to learn how to compress videos after all, AND learn how to upload videos to youtube. I meant to learn this stuff eventually anyway, so it's no big deal.
Character progression info:
(it has accelerated shields in the first video)
3 videos, with skip-to-the-example-mark links in each's description
These are just my first three attempts at recording, which just happened to have some minor examples of the phenomena. I've seen much more egregious examples, where the shields drop with enemies much closer and bullets/lasers/missiles still flying everywhere, yet flux is still fine or is already rapidly improving on its own. Hope this helps.
(make sure to hit 'more' under the description for the third video, as there are more links listed for shield failures and the results)
[EDIT] Just ran into it again while not recording. Autopilot dropped shield while within 600su distance (tactical laser range) of 3 enemy ships after destroying one of their friends. Maybe it thinks it's safe to lower shields or vent when a dead ship is nearby to hide behind?
[DOUBLE EDIT] Huh? This got moved from bugs to suggestions? How is the AI dropping shields or venting when it's at little or no flux and well within combat range of enemies not a bug? That can't be intentional.
Narrowing it down, the only ships I've noticed this issue with in recent memory were omni-shield ships that have the front-shield mod equipped, specifically the paragon and the monitor. I think i've seen it with the medusa too.
If you don't want to waste your time, I could see about producing a video showing the issue in action.
[EDIT] Also I don't think i've ever seen it while fighting enemies with beam weapons other than once against another paragon who nailed me with tachyons when autopilot decided to drop shields while at 25% or so flux.
Just from my experiences so far, if I had to pinpoint at least one very specific cause of the AI goofily dropping its shields while under fire or in danger without needing to (flux is fine or well on its way to being fine), I'd have to say it's when it overload's an enemy, or gets an enemy close enough to overloading that the enemy drops its own shields.
It seems to do this consistently one-on-one, which makes sense, because the overloaded or nearly overloaded enemy doesn't have the flux to fire back, and is vulnerable, but I'm thinking it follows this behavior often even when in one-on-twelve battles.
Just in general: if you're seeing something odd, it probably has to do with the specific circumstances (ship loadout, opponents, etc), so describing it in general terms doesn't really help pinpoint the problem.
I did give examples of the circumstances where I've seen this behavior, and also that it occurs with a variety of different ships, loadouts, and situations. I can document the exact ship loadouts I'm using and take screenshots of when it happens too, if you'd like. It's easily reproduced in the refit simulation.
I've noticed a general set of AI quirks while playing as a lone ship in campaign mode and setting myself to autopilot. The problems are mainly obvious with the paragon, but seem to be present with many other ships.
I find that often, not just sometimes, my autopiloted ship, despite having max flux dissipation, enormous flux capacity, 40 levels of character progression that include perks like 20% hard flux dissipation with shield raised and huge extra boosts to flux capacity and dissipation, and shield damage multipliers exceeding 0.35%, will randomly lower its shields or vent flux at the most inexplicable, inopportune moments, even while at very low (and getting lower already!) flux, yet while still well in range of enemy weapons, and even while surrounded and under fire, yet not enough fire to pose a threat if the shields had just remained up.
Distance from the enemy doesn't seem to matter. I can be on like 2000 out of 40,000 flux, or even at 0 flux, and my autopiloted ship will randomly drop shields or vent right in front of an enemy or group of enemies. A lot of these times it seems like my ship will drop shields after destroying an enemy, even at very low flux, and even if still surrounded or even flanked by more enemies. To a lesser degree of idiocy, the AI also likes to drop shields if close to topped out on soft flux, but at very little hard flux, while under fire or well within range of enemy weapons, rather than just keeping its shields up and waiting a little longer, and more safely, for the flux to drop while shielded, even if the damage being done to it is insignificant, opening itself up to needless armor and hull damage, and provoking alpha strikes of opportunity from missiles normally held in reserve.
This critically stupid, suicidal behavior seems above and beyond other quirks that make human control obviously superior, like the autopilot's tendency to sometimes charge into weapons range and attack an enemy that's at little or no flux, while the autopilot itself is nearly maxed on hard flux, when it has plenty of a speed and maneuverability advantage to back off, vent or dissipate, and then re-engage. While silly, at least it isn't pointlessly suicidal.
Observing the autopilot controlling a customized paragon also has me wondering if the AI doesn't at all understand that the ship it's controlling has a mod that gives it a front shield rather than an omni-shield, as a lot of the random shield drops seem to conveniently leave its flank exposed right as the shield re-engages. This could be coincidence, though.
I find that it's an absolute prerequisite to add accelerated shields as well on any front-shield modded ships that were previously using omni-shields, just to mitigate their tendencies to needlessly expose themselves.
I'm also suspicious that the AI doesn't realize its ship has the perk that gives the engine boost even at up to 25% flux, which may contribute to it dropping its shields to try to move faster.
Deploy the weaponless monitor, ISS Bastion. Fortress shield up. Gather all enemies to me and tank them.
Deploy 1-3 medusas depending on size and strength of enemy forces.
Wait for medusas to arrive together. 90% of the time they choose the same target on the periphery of my tanking circle since they deployed simultaneously and begin pelting it with heavy blasters (formerly pulse lasers + antimatter blasters) until it is dead.
Weave around enemies to position them in a line so they won't fire on me if necessary, while staying close enough to keep their attention, and toggle fortress shield on and off to regain flux. This step is unnecessary against forces that don't have multiple cruisers or a capital ship + backup.
Repeat until medusas have picked off each enemy.
If anything escaped, the tempest chases it down and finishes it with superior speed and extreme prejudice.
If any ship remains intact, the venerable ISS Sudoku shuttles on over for a suicide marine rush, if desired.
This works well. I have even successfully taken on fleets with an onslaught + cruisers and destroyers and more, albeit with significant damage done to the poor, silly AI medusas. I met my match with this setup in the form of a fleet with two onslaughts deployed simultaneously, as my poor monitor could not keep the attention of enough of their combined guns to save stupid medusas from lowering their shields instead of backing off, and getting exploded.
I was running a custom medusa variant I named "Heavy", decided to refit after leveling up, deleted the old variant, adding some new things, but it was still called "[Heavy] Medusa" in the variant name box, and the game crashes to desktop consistently when I try to run a simulation while the ship is still named after the previously saved but now deleted variant.
7054422 [Thread-5] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.combat.D - java.lang.RuntimeException: Ship hull variant [exported_variant_medusa_311f1ebd-540a-4606-8521-b32f2f5133c1] not found! java.lang.RuntimeException: Ship hull variant [exported_variant_medusa_311f1ebd-540a-4606-8521-b32f2f5133c1] not found! at com.fs.starfarer.loading.O00O.super(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.loading.SpecStore.super(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.fleet.FleetMember.new.super$String(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.fleet.FleetMember.o00000(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.fleet.FleetMember.<init>(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.campaign.fleet.FleetMember.<init>(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.refit.do.interface.Object$super(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.coreui.refit.do.actionPerformed(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.ui.OOO0OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.o00000(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.ui.H.processInput(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.ui.O0Oo.o00000(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.OoOO.Oôo000(Unknown Source) at com.fs.super.A.Ò00000(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.combat.D.super(Unknown Source) at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher$2.run(Unknown Source) at java.lang.Thread.run(Unknown Source)
I think it is so expensive right now because if you go straight to the black market to sell legal goods that would avoid tariffs, so the authorities need another way to drain your money so the black market is not OP.
I think maybe inspection frequency and severity of fees incurred should be based (more? is it a factor at all right now?) heavily on system stability and smuggling activity.
If a system is more stable than not and there's little or no smuggling being done, these legalized shakedowns should be much, much rarer, and the toll should be absolutely tiny compared to what it is right now.
Legal traders already have to face enormous tariffs, after all.
Hell, maybe there should be a reputation stat that ties your history of legal trading and helping out with shortages in each system with your faction standing, and should count for or against you with this kind of stuff.
"Hey, I scanned your cargo and it all looks good. We usually charge for this kind of thing, but you're a dear friend to the Hegemony, and the books also say you rescued planet A and B from starvation with your onion shipments! My wife lives on planet B! My god, someone give this man a medal."