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Author Topic: Starsector 0.8a (Released) Patch Notes  (Read 505350 times)

Megas

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #60 on: December 04, 2016, 10:39:43 AM »

Quote
(so you have ridiculous situations where one ship can have a faster burn speed and keep catching another ship, but the other ship has a faster combat speed and can keep getting away, necessitating a bunch more pre/post combat dialogue box CR rules)
Case in point?  Condor vs. Gemini.  Condor has faster burn speed, but Gemini has faster combat speed.  It makes no sense.
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nomadic_leader

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #61 on: December 04, 2016, 10:51:14 AM »

Quote
(so you have ridiculous situations where one ship can have a faster burn speed and keep catching another ship, but the other ship has a faster combat speed and can keep getting away, necessitating a bunch more pre/post combat dialogue box CR rules)
Case in point?  Condor vs. Gemini.  Condor has faster burn speed, but Gemini has faster combat speed.  It makes no sense.


The kite and the cerberus also had this thing going on for a while, don't know if the current version still does...
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Voyager I

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #62 on: December 04, 2016, 12:17:43 PM »

Quote
(so you have ridiculous situations where one ship can have a faster burn speed and keep catching another ship, but the other ship has a faster combat speed and can keep getting away, necessitating a bunch more pre/post combat dialogue box CR rules)
Case in point?  Condor vs. Gemini.  Condor has faster burn speed, but Gemini has faster combat speed.  It makes no sense.


IIRC the burn drives that ships use for interstellar travel are essentially a different form of locomotion from the engines they use in combat.  There's no inherent correlation between their capabilities in either mode.

This fact of the game world is only further emphasized by engine modifications working entirely on one and not the other.


Also, y'know, holy *** this is gonna be a good Easter.


EDIT:  also really excited to see options to compel aggression out of your officers.  For christ's sake guys, it's okay if the PD dings your armor a little bit, just run down the blasted Tarsus.  Making them become reckless at the player's discretion is also a great workaround for all the issues that normally surround it.  You might lose a ship unnecessarily because you told them to go all-in, but it will feel like the consequence of a decision you made rather than just being punished by AI mistakes you have no real control over.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 12:50:26 PM by Voyager I »
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #63 on: December 04, 2016, 01:12:04 PM »

I like those changes, the obnoxious ships (Heron, every Damper Field-ers) got a slight nerf to what makes them annoying to fight.

Just wanted to mention that the damper field changes specifically were motivated by your feedback post; "no fun was allowed that day" :) Thank you!


The Omen got further buffed with the much stronger EMP emitter, that thing is going to be a fighter's boogeyman. By the way, does the "Flamed-out missiles now have a 50% chance to bounce off harmlessly on impact" affect EMP'd missiles, or just the ones out of fuel?

EMP'ed missiles actually instantly become 100% disarmed. There's a method in MissileAPI that can be used to set a missile resistance to EMP, i.e. the number of times it can be hit with the EMP emitter before it disarms.

A question about the Tempest, does the drone reload its blaster when recalled? Hopefully not, the Tempest is already at the top of the foodchain, it doesn't needs a near instant reloading, flux-free AM blaster on top of that.

It's not a drone anymore, so recalling it simply makes it hover behind the Tempest.

Also glad to see an armor buff for the Astral, maybe this will even allow some brawler builds. Gotta find a reason to use that new torpedo launcher.

Hmm, maybe. So far the large missile slots have been great to use with the Squall - good support for fighter waves.



It occurred to me that if hullmods will be potential loot, and the only way to get a particular one is killing friendlies (for example, if Paragon is the only ship with Hardened Shields, and you are commissioned with Tri-Tachyon), then player can travel with transponder off and kill friendly ships, then laugh evilly after scooping up desired loot, and maybe board a rare ship that shops could but refuse to sell.

You can buy hullmods at markets; generally speaking the ones that are available for sale are the ones that that faction tends to use.

Maybe ships are drop modspecs they use, just like weapons.

They do, yes, though the baseline chance is pretty small.


Nice changes but "Removed crew experience levels" means ships without officers will be unable to improve accuracy and CR. I will miss my elite crew.

Yeah, but man does it make so many things on the backend *so* much easier and less bug-prone. Even if this was a subtraction in terms of gameplay (which I don't think it is - it feels cleaner now), it would still be 100% worth it just for how much it makes any related code easier, and for how many more crew-related mechanics are in the game as a result.


Nice to see you're still improving the AI.  I'm hoping one of the "big content additions" will be the long anticipated addition of industry!

Not outposts, but there's something in the pipeline as far as the industry aptitude - hopefully it'll pan out, can't wait to talk about it if it does :)



Needless to say there's a lot of cool stuff in this patch which represents a bit step forward in the game development, like the exploration which I've been anticipating a while. Good work.

Thank you!

There are two kinds of games (for the purposes of this discussion anyway):
-Simulation games (flight sims, space world sims, mario sims, etc)
-Abstracted games (board games, chess, go-fish, etc)

I don't think it makes sense to categorize games into these buckets, or even consider "simulation" and "abstracted" to be the opposite ends of a spectrum - rather, they're both independent axes.

Consider a detailed historical board game - those clearly tend to care very much about being a simulation, but are at a high level of abstraction. Conversely, FPS games like Call of Duty or Counter-Strike are generally at a low level of abstraction, but don't care much about being a simulation.

Most games are a simulation to some degree, though: e.g. Chess - both heavily abstracted and not-very-simulation-y - is still a simulation of war.


-Random effects of hullmods e.g. Unstable injector reducing weapons range

For example, something like this - there's a clean in-fiction justification for it, "increased engine emissions interfere with targeting sensors". It's consistent with other gameplay mechanics here - the idea of engines and sensors interacting in this way comes through in multiple places. It's hardly random, in fact I think one could make a good argument that both this and PPT and other similar mechanics increase the "simulationiness" of the game. At the same time, the game is clearly highly abstracted - combat takes place on a 2D plane, bullets fade out, relative ship sizes aren't right for what they'd be in-universe, etc.

Anyway, my point here is that singling out Unstable Injector doesn't seem reasonable. It's about on par with other hullmods. Sure, you might say that those are also too abstract - which may be a fair point, but then we're talking about such a large part of the game that I'd turn it around and suggest that maybe they're too abstract for what you think the game ought to be than for what it actually is :)


Long story short please try to find balance motivated mechanics that have an in-game logic instead of being arbitrary and non intuitive.  Though this would require overhauling the CR system and the combat vs campaign speed disparity issues however.

That's exactly what I'm doing, yeah. I just don't see the examples you're bringing up as not fitting those criteria. The one case where I'd agree is some of the rules around when PPT ticks down (not PPT in general; I'm happy with *that*). On the bright side, the "when does PPT tick down" rules only really come into play when the player is trying hard to exploit them, at which point it's not that big a deal.

So: I get what you're saying, and generally agree with it on a more abstract level. But details, man.



Also, y'know, holy *** this is gonna be a good Easter.

Oh, you.


EDIT:  also really excited to see options to compel aggression out of your officers.  For christ's sake guys, it's okay if the PD dings your armor a little bit, just run down the blasted Tarsus.  Making them become reckless at the player's discretion is also a great workaround for all the issues that normally surround it.  You might lose a ship unnecessarily because you told them to go all-in, but it will feel like the consequence of a decision you made rather than just being punished by AI mistakes you have no real control over.

Hopefully!
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Gothars

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #64 on: December 04, 2016, 01:13:45 PM »

There are two kinds of games

In abstracted games, you memorize a bunch of arbitrary rules

In a simulation, you memorize the in-world characteristics of different items and entities

I don't think that is a correct or helpful differentiation. I mean, isn't it the same thing? A bunch of rules make up the characteristics of entities and items. Entities and items are made by the rules that define them.

I think your main point is that Starsector is often not great at communicating its mechanics, and I would agree with that. This attempt at a theoretical underpinning seems  misguided to me, though.

Imagine that instead of having just a reduced CR% value, the graphic were made in a way that you could see the combat stresses occurring during battle, and the subsequent failure of on-board equipment and crew. Or that the different drive types (combat/burn) were clearly visible and distinct from each other. Then the mechanics would suddenly become intuitive, despite being exactly the same. Intuitiveness has nothing to do with "simulation vs abstraction", but with managing prior player experience and expectation, and providing hooks to which these can connect.
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #65 on: December 04, 2016, 01:22:22 PM »

Imagine that instead of having just a reduced CR% value, the graphic were made in a way that you could see the combat stresses occurring during battle, and the subsequent failure of on-board equipment and crew. Or that the different drive types (combat/burn) were clearly visible and distinct from each other. Then the mechanics would suddenly become intuitive, despite being exactly the same. Intuitiveness has nothing to do with "simulation vs abstraction", but with managing prior player experience and expectation, and providing hooks to which these can connect.

Yeah, this is a very good point. It'd be nice if it was practical to have distinct visuals for all the various hullmods, too.
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Gothars

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #66 on: December 04, 2016, 01:42:38 PM »

While that's impractical, I think it would be helpful if in-game texts would mention these things more to, if you will, "paint the picture" in the head of the players.
I don't mean tutorial texts, but conversations, fluff texts, mission descriptions and so on. There are already some short stories which helped me visualize mechanics better, but not much in the game. Of course that only really makes sense once the mechanics are finalized.
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Thaago

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #67 on: December 04, 2016, 02:21:26 PM »

...

Not outposts, but there's something in the pipeline as far as the industry aptitude - hopefully it'll pan out, can't wait to talk about it if it does :)

...


* TV intro music plays * Iiiiits Rampant Speculation Time! This weeeeeek: Skills!

New industry skill: Dockyard Graft.
Each rank increases the available black market ships and weapons. Rank 5 unlocks a contact at each station who, when talked to, can offer a high quality hull in addition to what is available in the market.


I am hoping for a skills rework, but it seems that outposts would have to come first/concurrently.
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Clockwork Owl

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #68 on: December 04, 2016, 02:30:35 PM »

IMO Combat Readiness i.e. CR is, by its name, self-explanatory enough to make basic assumptions on its behaviour. Peak Performance Time is less intuitive, yes, but related to CR in a way that if you know what CR is, you'll be able to imagine what it's for.

In-combat thruster and In-system Burn being different types of propulsion - aren't any sci-fi "FTL Drive" essentially this?

While that's impractical, I think it would be helpful if in-game texts would mention these things more to, if you will, "paint the picture" in the head of the players.
I don't mean tutorial texts, but conversations, fluff texts, mission descriptions and so on. There are already some short stories which helped me visualize mechanics better, but not much in the game. Of course that only really makes sense once the mechanics are finalized.
Not everyone cares about lore enough to search every flavor text and lore pieces, so I think it is a good approach to do it.
We already have texts appearing around fleets including our own - something like "Burn drive engaged/disengaged" etc. will help I guess.
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Midnight Kitsune

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #69 on: December 04, 2016, 02:45:13 PM »

Hey Alex, I've been meaning to ask: How much of a boost is there in combat and what did you do to help speed it up? I know that the UI when displayed has a noticeable effect on low end systems like mine
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OmegaTech

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #70 on: December 04, 2016, 02:48:12 PM »

First time poster, long time lurker...

Just wanted to say that this is amazing work! Great job!
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Alex

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #71 on: December 04, 2016, 02:53:32 PM »

While that's impractical, I think it would be helpful if in-game texts would mention these things more to, if you will, "paint the picture" in the head of the players.
I don't mean tutorial texts, but conversations, fluff texts, mission descriptions and so on. There are already some short stories which helped me visualize mechanics better, but not much in the game. Of course that only really makes sense once the mechanics are finalized.

Hmm, maybe. That kind of content is really hard, because nothing is ever really "finalized", you know? Even a hypothetical post-1.0 patch could change a hullmod, and having to edit fluff to account for that is problematic.


Hey Alex, I've been meaning to ask: How much of a boost is there in combat and what did you do to help speed it up? I know that the UI when displayed has a noticeable effect on low end systems like mine

It's hard to say exactly - maybe somewhere in the area of 25% faster? Mostly the changes are in-engine, optimizing some common utility methods, some rendering optimizations, some AI optimization, that sort of thing. Nothing UI-specific, but hopefully it'll help by taking some of the load off the rest of it.

Of course, when there's a screenful of fighters, it's probably more accurate to think of these optimizations as "helping keep the old performance" rather than "getting faster".


First time poster, long time lurker...

Just wanted to say that this is amazing work! Great job!

Hi - thank you! Appreciate you de-lurking just to say something nice :)
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Gothars

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #72 on: December 04, 2016, 03:37:24 PM »

Hmm, maybe. That kind of content is really hard, because nothing is ever really "finalized", you know? Even a hypothetical post-1.0 patch could change a hullmod, and having to edit fluff to account for that is problematic.

I was thinking more of the big mechanics that we only get to see at a high abstraction level - CR, Faction Standing, Burndrive, Salvage(?), Sensor profile, Com Relays, Fighter Replacement etc. It would be great if we could have a peek at those things through they eyes of people who interact with them daily on a personal level, instead of only seeing them from far above. I could add plausibility, immersion and make interactions with these systems more intuitive.
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Uomoz

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #73 on: December 04, 2016, 04:10:47 PM »

SS 2.0! Thanks Alex :)
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Techhead

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Re: Starsector 0.8a (In Development) Patch Notes
« Reply #74 on: December 04, 2016, 05:27:38 PM »

I was thinking more of the big mechanics that we only get to see at a high abstraction level - CR, Faction Standing, Burndrive, Salvage(?), Sensor profile, Com Relays, Fighter Replacement etc. It would be great if we could have a peek at those things through they eyes of people who interact with them daily on a personal level, instead of only seeing them from far above. I could add plausibility, immersion and make interactions with these systems more intuitive.
I think the weirdest abstraction so far is the way crew losses interacts with fighters, and the non-linear "the more fighters you lose, the less crew you lose per fighter".

You might be able to reverse the wording and present it as "the more fighters you lose, the more fighter escape pods the carrier is able to recover", but that gets weird with the total number of fighters launched (and pods recovered) possibly being larger than crew available. Then again, that case is weird in most presentations.
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