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Messages - LucusLoC

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31
A few alternatives would be pretty sweet, but you would have to make sure they play nice with the other game mechanics. I am not talking about locking people out if they go down a certain rout, just making sure that the income stacking does not get too wild.

A few thoughts:

1. More "player" fleets; officers can be put in charge of a fleet of their own, and take orders for missions from you (you assign them a mission/bounty/trade loop which they perform until completed or you assign them something else. Officers wold gain access to feet wide bonuses so they could be specialized for such roles. Colonies with a High Command would give an additional combat fleet (mins any officer bonuses) that can only take "combat" missions, colonies with a Commerce structure gain access to a single trade fleet that haul selected goods to specific destinations.

In addition to this change I would roll "officer" and "administrator" limits into one "subordinate" limit, so that players would need to choose between more fleets or more colonies (or deal with AI raids in the case of AI admins). Whether or not AI can be used to run their own fleets would be a balance issue that needs testing, but I would be inclined to say yes, so long as those fleets incur significant risk when interacting with "AI adverse" factions (AI trade fleets would be very poor, since they would be super limited in who they could trade with, for example).

2. "Tech Mining" Expeditions; don't want to set up a colony just to do some tech mining? Send repeated expeditions! After the initial "grab what is laying around in the open" phase that you perform after the initial survey the player should have the option to bring specialized survey equipment (a ship? a new item?) to continue harvesting loot. This should be far slower than colony tech mining, but should eventually yield the same results. The player should also be able to fund an expedition, and due to the different game mechanics these should be "independent ventures" not counted against a players fleet limits. The only limits on the player would be the initial capital to set up the expedition. (incidentally, the planet survey data *really* needs to show the depletion level of ruins. . . ). Players should also be able to "tag" stations, derelicts and debris fields to send expeditions using the same mechanics.

2a. The player should be able to hire a dedicated "salvage fleet" to clean up after player battles. They could be the ones to run off with full cargo holds (after topping up the player fleet with supplies and fuel), giving the player more time out and about wreaking havoc (for a small price of course).

2b. Not really related to passive income, but the player should be able to request delivery of supplies out in the black. "Emergency beacons" are pretty useless for large fleets, because responders usually have little available (and if you are hostile to most factions you have to fight and salvage anyway, further reducing availability of what you need), plus commissioning a supply run would let you request what you actually needed, not just hope for it.

3. I do like the idea of "investment" in other colonies, but for simplicity sake I think it should be limited to just "investment interest" where you give cash to a faction and get an interest payout based on the success of that faction. Due to "competing interests" this payout should be severely curtailed if the player owns their own colonies, diminishing rapidly with the increasing success of player colonies. This would help keep the player from "making money from both ends" which I can see easily becoming game breaking.

4. Commissions should be expanded, eventually allowing a player to "write off" most expenses to the patron faction, in effect sending them a bill for supplies used while acting in their interest. Sending them too large a bill for too little gain would impact reputation negatively, and repeat offenses could jeopardize the commission. (with the converse being true too, under-billing for services would improve reputation). This wold in effect be an expansion of the bounty system, but would be tracked for all hostile factions, not just ones they explicitly placed a bounty on. The system could also be expanded to include trade and exploration too, though I would need to think about how that would work best. This game-play arc would basically see the player become a semi-independent member of that faction, and should include a number of game-play features to that end. (maybe after a certain point the exploration side of a commission would see a player set up and "manage" colonies directly for that faction, for example)

4a. Combined with point 5 below, the player should have the ability to play politics within the faction to move up in stature (with the possibility of taking over the faction completely)?

5. Politics; similar to commissions, but without so many strings attached, the player could enter into political deals that agreed to certain payouts for certain continued actions (e.g. killing pirate fleets). This would help supplement the income for players operating with larger dedicated "killer" fleets. I imagine this would be a bit tighter of a line to walk than a commission, since factions would of course be more concerned funding a powerful fleet that was so far outside of their control, but that is the cost the player pays for more independence. As a further option factions could use the player acting in this role as a "plausible deniability" agent to act against otherwise friendly factions (making the player take the rep hit instead of them in exchange for a cash stipend).

6. Players should be rewarded passively by factions they maintain high rep with, most notably through lower cost on needed items like supplies, crew and fuel. This would be a kind of "passive income" in that it would reduce over all costs, son long as you were getting those supplies from those factions.

Let me know if there are any other game-play loops that were not covered in those points and I will see what I can come up with.

32
Suggestions / Re: No Survivors!
« on: October 09, 2019, 10:38:13 AM »
In the first place, placing that pixels have consciousness, but your pixels don't have any to reduce your reputation somewhat breaks the suspension of belief. The player doesn't have to follow the same moral code, but it's a bizarre justification that people have a conscience but somehow your own crew will not. But in the end it doesn't make for better gameplay, for reasons I already described.
Getting no rep change from destroying every ship seems a bit "gamey". If you attack only because you expected to destroy every ship but do not, then you will feel like you failed. There's no reason why the attack couldn't had been broadcasted or recorded in data storage like flight recorders when the disappearance of a fleet is investigated.
The out of place morale justification came afterwards.

Actually I think you are the only one here who thinks it would not enhance gameplay. Most everyone else thinks it would.

33
Suggestions / Re: No Survivors!
« on: October 08, 2019, 01:52:02 PM »
Only the salvage fleets attack you. I've never seen prospector do so, though it might be because they are too weak. But if trade fleets have at least some people are likely to have a conscience, then why don't yours? They can be the ones to tell people what you have ordered them to do, whether by accident on on purpose.

Because the player does not need to employ a conscious to kill pixels. At some point the "then why does the player. .  .?" argument breaks down, because the player is operating with stuff the NPCs can never have access too. If the player chooses to treat those fleets with respect so they can RP a decent and moral commander they are free to do so, but there is zero reason the player needs to adhere to any moral code that may be imposed upon the NPCs.

"Faction fleets font randomly attack everyone because they abide by a basic moral code" is a perfectly valid in lore reason for why uncontrolled space is no a perpetual bloodbath. IF the player wants to make the space around them into that bloodbath that is their prerogative, and the fact that their fleet follows orders is just good game mechanics. You can rationalize it any way you want, from "the player is the most charismatic tyrant ever" to "the player brain wipes all subordinates", but at the end of the day "because it makes for better gameplay" is the only real reason needed.

34
Suggestions / Re: No Survivors!
« on: October 08, 2019, 07:41:00 AM »
Seems like a pretty easy thing to balance to me, just make it a bit harder to mop up all the fast little ships that flee. Make it difficult enough for the auto-resolve to do that and there will be no in lore incentive for most factions to try it, but gives another way for the player to potentially stand out as special.

35
Suggestions / Re: Streamlining existing mechanics.
« on: October 08, 2019, 07:13:34 AM »
 could have sworn I tried it already, but I double checked and it does work in battle. I am not having much luck getting it to work for deployments though, but that may be due to running a bunch of expendable ships. . .

36
General Discussion / Question about Cryorevival Facility
« on: October 07, 2019, 08:52:34 PM »
Is there any point to this structure after hitting colony size 10?

37
Suggestions / Re: Allow us to set what is legal in our territory
« on: October 07, 2019, 01:31:12 PM »
I think the idea of "free port" needs to be expanded into this suggestion. No longer would it be just a "trade all goods" button combined with growth incentives/stability modifier, but it would become a "select legal trade goods" button. This would impact profits, growth rates and reputation with other factions, based on their access rating with that colony.

Every time a faction received legal (to you and to them) goods from your colony there would be a chance for your reputation to slightly improve. Whenever they received a shipment of goods legal to you but illegal to them there would be a slight chance for reputation to decrease.

And that is just the most basic implementation. I would love to see a more detailed system that let you set "locally produced/used legal", "import legal", "export legal" and "all legal", with various impacts associated with each. And these effects should be unique to each good (e.g. allowing export of harvested organs should increase profits, but actually decrease population growth and stability, whereas only allowing their import or local use should decrease profits but increase population growth. Allowing local use but not exports should lessen the rep hit for black market exports to another faction, but not eliminate them, whereas making a good 100% illegal in a colony should eliminate reputation hits with another faction even if illegal trade is still technically happening)

"accessibility" would no longer be tied directly to the "port status", but instead would be dynamically attached to how "desirable" your port looks to traders based on your market settings. Not having a good set as legal to trade in some way would not have a huge impact if traders were not looking for that good from your colony, but could have a much larger impact if they were (e.g. why would they care if raw ore is or is not legal at your port if your port doe not produce or sell that commodity? on the other hand your colony does produce a lot of drugs, so making those illegal will mean they are likely to look elsewhere for a less risky supply)

And tying into that mechanic, the player should be able to set the tariffs on individual commodities too, both coming and going. This would impact access as well, as it too would dictate the desirability of merchants to trade at your port.

38
Suggestions / Re: Move planets with a towing system
« on: October 07, 2019, 01:03:47 PM »
Nah, no moving planets. If we want to impact the habitability of a planet it should be done by claiming and moving sun-shares and mirrors. These should be available as derelicts throughout the sector that the player can find and claim, and those can be moved to the planet in question. Moving an entire planet seemed to be beyond the tech level of even the old Domain, so there is no reason to even consider it.

39
Suggestions / Re: No Survivors!
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:57:50 PM »
You don't have anything to spend money on till you get back to the core worlds which have comm relays anyway*, so the instant rewards from bounties and scan/survey missions feels mostly like a measure to prevent player confusion.

*well, unless the player builds a colony in a location without a comm relay and starts adding industries

If we're arguing realism, there would be three possible states for rep loss from combat:
- System has working comm relay: rep loss no matter what you do, since the enemy fleet transmits distress signals and other information about the battle
- System has no comm relay, some enemies escape: rep loss due to survivors reporting back
- System has no comm relay, no enemies escape: reduced or no rep loss
  - Nonzero rep loss could result from rumors leaking from your crew
  - And if we want to overengineer this, the chance of such leaks is based on your fleet size/crew count

I heartily endorse this mechanic. Yes, the entire thing.

I would also love to see the payment made only on connection back to the comm network. We do not have to get complicated on the bounty expiration, there could be a lore note that say bounties are always valid so long as there is proof that the bounty was killed during the allotted time, and the player will carry around something akin to "survey data" about the kill until it is transmitted.

40
Suggestions / Re: Streamlining existing mechanics.
« on: October 07, 2019, 12:49:12 PM »
Options I would like to see for fleet management:
  • Sort options: Size, class, military/civilian, cargo capacity, various costs and requirements, D-mods type/number etc. (bonus, a custom sort option based off the blueprints screen that lets you rearrange ship classes and set a sort name for use on the fleet management screen)
  • Multi-select for storing/selling ships at a colony.
  • In the refit screen; ctrl/shift+select to mass set load-outs (bonus, include options to either leave slots blank if equipment is unavailable, or fill in with alternatives, as well as whether to allocate unused points automatically or leave them available)(bonus #2, "set all ships of this type to this load-out" option)(bonus #3, more preset options. Sometimes 4 is not enough).
  • In the refit screen; a highlight option to show non-standard components/empty slots for the selected load-out.
  • Preset deployment groups ("fleet elements") for the deploy/reinforcements screen.
  • "Deploy orders" for battles (or better yet, a box to arrange ships in before battle start, should also work with the fleet elements feature). No more having the capital ship tank deploy at the very back.
  • A "fleet formation" screen so we can set our deployment formation for involuntary battles (or just give us a deployment box there too, but that may give us too much flexibility and become a balance issue). 
  • A "retreat all ships below X% CR/hull integrity" orders button. (Bonus points for having a checkbox to make it a standing order and ships will automatically retreat themselves.)
  • The ability to set orders for a group of selected ships in battle, instead of having to select them one at a time. (my personal example? I like to set "search an destroy" on a small group of ships, but I can currently only use that order when single ships are selected, not groups)
  • Related to fleet elements, and order to "stick together" without having to set a dedicated "escort" ship (and therefor have a single point of failure for the "group")
  • Ctrl+# groups for ships in the battle space. (bonus, the ability to automatically add ships to a specific number group as they are added to the battle. e.g. "add all "carrier" class ships to control group #4" or "add all ships from Fleet element 6 to control group 6")




41
Suggestions / Re: Tech ruins randomly decreases structure build cost/time
« on: September 27, 2019, 11:24:00 AM »
I love this idea. +1

It could really add to the lore, and drive home that we really are living off the scraps of a vastly larger and more capable failed civilization by making it an integral part of the game mechanics.

42
Suggestions / Re: Map Pins
« on: September 25, 2019, 08:37:45 PM »
+1, UI improvements are always appreciated.

43
Suggestions / Re: Scuttling a ship has a chance to drop a blueprint for it
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:12:59 AM »
I am gong to agree that this would not be a good mechanic, but I would also like to see more value from sucesfully salvaged ships, at lease somewhat comparable to their value on the market. I do not care if that means significantly toning down the success rates for getting a ship from salvage to keep them from being to lucrative for the player. Currently it costs me 10s of thousands for bigger ships with D mods on them, but I only get a few thousand for that same ship even after I repair it. I am pretty sure that there are ships that are a net loss once you factor in the cost to bring them home. that should really not be the case, and ships should not lose most of their value simply because the player owned them at some point.

On a similar note, getting a working ship from salvage should feel like a real windfall, not like an alternative form of ship market (especially in player colonized systems, where there can be dozens of derelicts floating around for the player to harvest at any given time). Most of the time they should just give you the salvaged materials, not a ship.

Of course the whole salvage mechanic needs a rework anyway, so you can just pile this feedback onto that.

44
Suggestions / Re: Survey/Analyze missions should expand outwards
« on: September 24, 2019, 01:00:20 AM »
I think a lot of these types of missions should just not expire at all, but rather should be actively dismissed by the player if they are uninterested. It does not make sense that a faction would loose interest in a planet simply because no one wanted to do the mission.

If, in the future, we have entities that will compete for missions with the player then sure, a mission can disappear after it is completed for that entity (and depending on the mechanic the player may or may not know they are competing against someone else on that specific mission, so we may have to make educated guesses based on the age of the mission).

If we wanted to get even more dynamic there could be a whole hidden set of unadvertised missions that would be active for NPCs, but that the player would have to hunt down (and gaining faction rep would automatically make some of those "advertised" to the player without having to hunt them down). There could potentially be 100s of active missions available, with the player only able to see a few of them at any one time (unless they put in the effort to track down more). And the missions the player could not see would not be useless baggage, but could be the basis for finding intel for raiding convoys and such.

I know a lot of the groundwork seems to be in place for such a dynamic environment (what with com link hacking, existing faction convoys and such) but it definitely seems incomplete at the moment (insert "duh." here)

45
Now, admittedly, I don't see it myself. Mainly I notice the Autopulse laser, and that's ....

Actually no, I am going to spoiler this, because just pointing some things out can be dangerous, because you start seeing this crap everywhere once you realize it.

Seriously, don't open the spoilers unless you don't care about seeing more potential phallic imagery where it wasn't intended. I wish my brain didn't just fill in the blanks everywhere.

Cognitohazard, Do not read to avoid possibly being infected
that's because of the stupid internet and my failure to realize that Cognitohazard actually existed until I was infected, and the fact it looks vaguely like a horse dong. My brain just refuses to ignore it now, and I wish I could erase my memory as a result.
[close]

Spoiler
It's hard to find anything that isn't vaguely phallic without excessive shape restrictions. As long as you have a shaft/tube/cylinder/line segment its almost certainly going to look phallic.

Admittedly, it doesn't much help that guns are largely associated with both manliness and phallic imagery.
[close]

As long as you have a gun barrel, with some random greebles stuck on it, and it is somewhat wider at the base, it will look phallic to someone.

Another Cognitohazard
The frikking Micky Mouse head looks vaguely phallic if you flip it upside down. Seriously, you cannot escape this, and replacing it with a new model will not help.
Spoiler
[close]
[close]

I think you are just overly susceptible to suggestion, cause I do not see it. I mean come on, how is the Micky Mouse silhouette phallic at all? About the only thing it has in common is it has 3 parts in roughly the right orientation, but pretty much nothing about the actual shape is phallic at all. if you threshold for "looks phallic" amounts to like a 20% over all match (however you want to define "match") then yeah "everything" will appear phallic. Most of us have a significantly higher threshold than that though, and need a much higer similarity before we apply that label (think "90%" if we were trying to apply a rigorous definition).

I think your "cognitohazard" is just letting people talk you into applying a much lower standard for a "match" instead of telling them they are trying to hard to make that association. If you really are super susceptible to suggestion let me try this to help; I suggest you apply a more rigorous matching algorithm to your cognition on the subject, so that you do not make the association with phallic imagery every time you see either 3 objects arranged in a roughly triangular manner, or see something that is vaguely longer than it is wide. If you can successfully implement that mental filter I bet the vast majority of your phallic associations will disappear.

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