Fractal Softworks Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Starsector 0.9.1a is out! (05/10/19); Blog post: Skills and Story Points (07/08/19)

Pages: [1] 2

Author Topic: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!  (Read 6544 times)

Morrokain

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 829
  • Megalith Dreadnought - Archean Order
    • View Profile
Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« on: January 26, 2017, 11:16:51 PM »

So, Imma just leave this here but... in the interim before the highly anticipated update is ready I'd really love to get some dirt on these guys since they finally make an appearance! We already kind of know what the Persean League is about. But this faction only has a couple vague references in weapon descriptions and are otherwise a total mystery lore-wise. Blog post if time maybe please?

Who are they? What is their place in the general political sphere of the sector? Are they more of a sub-faction under the dominion of one of the other powers or have they carved out their own slice of influence?

Do they have any ship / tech preferences or unique combat tactics?

 ;D
Logged

Embolism

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 06:26:57 AM »

My guess is that Ko Combine is, compared to Tri-Tach, more industry-oriented and considerably less ambitious. They probably started off closely associated with the Hegemony, but have established significance presence in other factions (e.g. the Persean League). They're not interested in declaring themselves independent but in some backwater systems are more or less the ruling polity.

Their military is primarily geared towards defense, with armed convoys and tech miners making up most of their fleets. They're mostly concerned with keeping their assets safe from marauding pirates and Luddic fanatics, but have occasionally had to defend themselves from Tri-Tachyon saboteurs.

In terms of ships they favour armed freighters (Sheperd, Mule, Venture) and defensive escorts (Centurion, Monitor, Mora). Hmmm. Honestly I don't feel like there are many larger ships that fit Ko Combine's feel... the kind of low-mid tech, military-civilian, occasional dash of high tech (e.g. the Monitor) mismash.

Then again I could be completely off on how Alex and David visualise Ko Combine. *shrug*
Logged

Dri

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1191
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 05:44:29 PM »

I think David is the primary writer and "lore guy" for Starsector at this point, yeah?

Been a loooong time since we've gotten and story/world building/lore info in bulk...
Logged

Aeson

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 394
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 11:55:06 PM »

Quote
In terms of ships they favour armed freighters (Sheperd, Mule, Venture)
For whatever it's worth, the Venture strikes me more as a demilitarized cruiser than as an armed freighter, especially once fighters are returned to usefulness. A flight deck, two medium ballistic mounts, a medium energy mount, two medium missile mounts, and two small missile mounts is kind of a lot of firepower for an armed freighter - it's pretty comparable to average cruisers like the Eagle, or would be if fighters were worth bringing - and on top of that the supposed freighter doesn't even haul much more than the Apogee does.
Logged

Embolism

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 12:38:27 AM »

Armed freighter was probably the wrong descriptor. I see the Shepherd and the Venture as asteroid/tech mining vessels, essentially low-tech Apogees (the Venture's flight deck is going to be filled with built-in Mining Drones, so it probably won't be that much more effective in combat).

I agree that the Venture was originally a warship, but its obsolescence and downgrade to civilian use likely occurred a long time ago. The original warship design was probably lost in the Collapse, leaving only the civilian-modified design active in the Sector.

Also I don't think comparing the Venture to the Apogee is fair: the Apogee probably needs a whack of the nerf bat, it does basically everything too well.
Logged

Midnight Kitsune

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 2644
  • Your Friendly Forum Friend
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2017, 12:50:09 AM »

Yeah, the Apogee is a better warship than the warship...
Logged
Stop trying to balance the game around a few minmaxers...
Programming is like sex:
One mistake and you have to support it for the rest of your life.

Tired of having your game crash because of out of date mods? Then click here!
Spoiler
Get Version Checker today! Now with 90% less hassle! Simply toss it into your mod folder, activate the mod like a normal one and BINGO you will now be informed of any and all updates when you start SS campaign up!
[close]

Sy

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1225
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2017, 09:01:43 AM »

Alex said he plans to nerf the Apogee in some way, possibly in combination with replacing its system, as all the vanilla drone systems are getting replaced anyway. maybe it will lose the drones entirely and get some other, weaker active system instead.

as for the Venture, i assume it was originally purely a mining ship that has been upgraded with some military hardware, rather than the other way round. downgrading military ships for civilian purposes doesn't seem to be something that's generally done in the sector. and in addition to the built-in Mining Pods that will replace the flight deck in 0.8, it is also one of only two low-tech ships that has an energy mount (the semi-civilian Mule being the other one), likely specifically for mounting its typical Mining Blaster.
Buffalo MK.II is also technically a low-tech ship with energy mounts, but it's a conversion of an originally mid-tech ship.
Logged

Morrokain

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 829
  • Megalith Dreadnought - Archean Order
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2017, 11:23:22 AM »

My guess is that Ko Combine is, compared to Tri-Tach, more industry-oriented and considerably less ambitious. They probably started off closely associated with the Hegemony, but have established significance presence in other factions (e.g. the Persean League). They're not interested in declaring themselves independent but in some backwater systems are more or less the ruling polity.

Their military is primarily geared towards defense, with armed convoys and tech miners making up most of their fleets. They're mostly concerned with keeping their assets safe from marauding pirates and Luddic fanatics, but have occasionally had to defend themselves from Tri-Tachyon saboteurs.

In terms of ships they favour armed freighters (Sheperd, Mule, Venture) and defensive escorts (Centurion, Monitor, Mora). Hmmm. Honestly I don't feel like there are many larger ships that fit Ko Combine's feel... the kind of low-mid tech, military-civilian, occasional dash of high tech (e.g. the Monitor) mismash.

Then again I could be completely off on how Alex and David visualise Ko Combine. *shrug*

Yeah this is kind of what I was thinking too. To go off your point I would guess that they probably have a business-like ceasefire or even a firm alliance with the Hegemony. Protection and a guarantee of a certain.. leniency.. in salvage rights as long as the Hegemony gets their cut and in return for access to the Combine's industrial might and well secured supply lines.

The Hegemony is first and foremost a military organization, so that doesn't necessarily translate into industrial savvy. Hostile take-over of key resource nodes may have granted them access to the resources they need, but it doesn't mean they know how to extract and refine them. They would need an organization- or at least a governing body outside typical military channels- to ensure their economy and the lifeblood of their fleet is well tended to. Especially with so many raider-like factions present and hostile, it makes sense that their industrial counterpart would also be pseudo-militarized in a the way the Venture, Shepard and the Mule are.

I mean its not like the Hegemony can count on the Tri-Tachyons for any advice in technical matters  ;)

as for the Venture, i assume it was originally purely a mining ship that has been upgraded with some military hardware, rather than the other way round. downgrading military ships for civilian purposes doesn't seem to be something that's generally done in the sector. and in addition to the built-in Mining Pods that will replace the flight deck in 0.8, it is also one of only two low-tech ships that has an energy mount (the semi-civilian Mule being the other one), likely specifically for mounting its typical Mining Blaster.

Yeah this is how I always thought of the Venture. Wealthy industrialists or independent tech miners who can afford a cruiser-sized salvage platform that has the power to mount a modest combat arsenal for self preservation in a hostile frontier.

Like a less sinister Jabba the Hutt-type organization. (then again maybe not less sinister who knows lol)
Logged

Embolism

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2017, 05:30:45 PM »

I think the Venture being a militarised civilian vessel is less likely than the opposite because militarisation of a cruiser requires significant resources. You would expect at least some Ventures to be the original, budget, civilian version, especially in the relatively resource-poor Sector: yet none exists.

You could argue that ships like the Kite and the passenger transports mostly come in the armed variety, but the armament they carry can hardly be called "militarised" and likely doesn't stretch the budget much (compared to what would've been lost to casual piracy).

Downgrading for civilian purposes might not be done in the Sector but it almost certainly was done in the Domain. I expect the original Venture's decommission to have occurred well before the Collapse.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2017, 05:39:32 PM by Embolism »
Logged

Sy

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1225
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 01:41:24 AM »

I think the Venture being a militarised civilian vessel is less likely than the opposite because militarisation of a cruiser requires significant resources.
but we do know that there are many ships who were originally purely civilian vessels that have been militarized following the collapse. apparently that is often more cost effective than manufacturing new, purely military ships.

in addition to the small upgrades to various transports you mentioned, Gemini's flight deck was originally meant for small mining drones only, Shepherd got additional weapon mounts, armor plating, and engine upgrades, and considering the Kite's size, i'd say the addition of three weapon mounts counts as significant militarization. and all of these last three ships are now deployed directly into battle, not just meant to be able to defend themselves a little when forced into a pursuit battle.

and there are also several ships that were originally purely civilian that have not just gotten some military upgrades, but a complete military conversion: Buffalo MK.II, Mudskipper MK.II and Condor. the Condor's description even mentions "the conversion process is an involved and complex affair, and requires proper space dock facilities". yet it is both the cheapest and most common carrier in the entire sector.

and lastly, the Mora was also re-militarized following the collapse and had been used as mining/industrial ship prior. it was originally designed to be a military carrier, but was converted into a civilian hull due to lack of demand in the Domain, and had to now be converted again to become a functional military ship once more.

Quote
I expect the original Venture's decommission to have occurred well before the Collapse.
yeah, that's possible. but unlike in the case of the Mora, i don't believe this was ever mentioned anywhere. and with these examples above, i don't see why a militarization of an originally mining ship Venture after the collapse would be unlikely, considering that is exactly what happened to Shepherd (which is pretty much a mini-Venture) and even very extensive conversions seem to be cost-effective and common place.
Logged

Embolism

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 03:26:38 AM »

I don't think re-purposing the Gemini's drone bay to a fighter bay is as resource-intensive as redesigning a cruiser-sized hull to include multiple extra medium weapon mountings, a military-grade power core, hull and armour reinforcements... and whatever's necessary to upgrade a civilian cruiser to be combat-capable. Same goes for the Shepherd which more or less just got a drone AI upgrade.

In my mind the Mora and the Venture are in the same boat, but that's the thing: the Mora started off as a military vessel, not a civilian vessel. I see that more as point towards the Venture also starting off as a military vessel that got converted to civilian use. Did it get "re-militarised" after the Collapse? Probably, but given how much civilian-ness remains (you would think they'd want to convert those two mining drone bays to hold fighters) I doubt it went all the way (compared to the Mora which is comparatively all combat, no utility).

The other examples you mentioned are all conversions to pure military vessels. The Buffalo Mk. II, Mudskipper Mk. II and Condor are pure military conversions with minimal civilian utilities left. Post-Collapse it makes sense to have a lot of these because resources are scarce and true warships are a lot more difficult to build. The Venture however with its many civilian features is obviously not a pure military conversion.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 03:39:40 AM by Embolism »
Logged

Sy

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 1225
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2017, 04:28:47 AM »

I don't think re-purposing the Gemini's drone bay to a fighter bay is as resource-intensive as redesigning a cruiser-sized hull to include multiple extra medium weapon mountings, a military-grade power core, hull and armour reinforcements... and whatever's necessary to upgrade a civilian cruiser to be combat-capable. Same goes for the Shepherd which more or less just got a drone AI upgrade.
you might be right in regards to the Gemini, but Shepherd got a lot more than just upgraded drones. the codex specifically mentions armor, weapon and engine upgrades, and David also talked about the additional weapon mounts and armor / radiation shielding in the blog post, not to mention these additions are visible on the sprite itself as a result.

and i don't think Venture would've needed extensive upgrades from a mining ship to its current form:
  • mining ships already need to be either maneuverable enough to dodge small asteroid hits (like Shepherd) or well enough armored to just absorb such hits without endangering its crew.
  • slapping on a couple turret mounts evidently isn't too difficult or resource-consuming, otherwise it would likely not be worth doing for all those transports that aren't even meant to be ever deployed into combat unless forced to by a pursuing fleet.
  • its flux stats are awful by cruiser standards, despite the fact that it would've already needed to be able to operate the typical Mining Blaster in an original non-combat role -- which is part of why the other two non-missile mounts are typically only used for the very flux-light single Flaks. so i don't think it got any significant improvements in this aspect.
  • it still has the civilian sensor package, just like the Shepherd. and while military grade sensors don't seem to be worth the extra cost/complexity on ships originally designed for civilian functions, i doubt replacing/altering an already present military sensor package to a lower quality one would be worth the additional effort.

Quote
In my mind the Mora and the Venture are in the same boat, but that's the thing: the Mora started off as a military vessel, not a civilian vessel. I see that more as point towards the Venture also starting off as a military vessel that got converted to civilian use.
but the way i understand the blog post, this back-and-forth was a new idea unique to the Mora. in fact, it even seems to be meant as explanation for why the Mora exists despite the availability of Heron and Venture!

and the Mora's re-militarization happened after the collapse. so even if the Venture was initially designed as a combat ship, by the time of the collapse the blueprint itself would've been altered to that of a civilian ship, requiring some post-collapse military upgrades (mainly the additional weapon mounts) to get to its current form.

Quote
The other examples you mentioned are all conversions to pure military vessels. The Buffalo Mk. II, Mudskipper Mk. II and Condor are pure military conversions with minimal civilian utilities left. Post-Collapse it makes sense to have a lot of these because resources are scarce and true warships are a lot more difficult to build. The Venture however with its many civilian features is obviously not a pure military conversion.
well yes, that was exactly my point: even total conversions from purely civilian to purely military ships seem to be both common and cost-effective in the sector, so i really don't see why a couple military upgrades to the Venture that still leave most of the original hull intact wouldn't make sense "because militarisation of a cruiser requires significant resources"? :P
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 04:32:25 AM by Sy »
Logged

Embolism

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2017, 07:22:43 AM »

you might be right in regards to the Gemini, but Shepherd got a lot more than just upgraded drones. the codex specifically mentions armor, weapon and engine upgrades, and David also talked about the additional weapon mounts and armor / radiation shielding in the blog post, not to mention these additions are visible on the sprite itself as a result.

And yet I wouldn't consider the Shepherd without its drones any more effective than a Kite or an armed passenger transport. I'd put it in their category in terms of improvements.

  • slapping on a couple turret mounts evidently isn't too difficult or resource-consuming, otherwise it would likely not be worth doing for all those transports that aren't even meant to be ever deployed into combat unless forced to by a pursuing fleet.
  • its flux stats are awful by cruiser standards, despite the fact that it would've already needed to be able to operate the typical Mining Blaster in an original non-combat role -- which is part of why the other two non-missile mounts are typically only used for the very flux-light single Flaks. so i don't think it got any significant improvements in this aspect.
  • it still has the civilian sensor package, just like the Shepherd. and while military grade sensors don't seem to be worth the extra cost/complexity on ships originally designed for civilian functions, i doubt replacing/altering an already present military sensor package to a lower quality one would be worth the additional effort.

  • Those transports have small turret mounts, also note that they look like they're hanging off the main hull. The Venture has them integrated.
  • I think terrible flux stats is a point towards it's not really militarised.
  • I don't think shipyards are producing military-grade Ventures and people are then stripping out its military-class power cores and sensors (that would be very dumb)... I think the Venture's blueprint had been fundamentally altered prior to the Collapse and this civilian blueprint is all the remains available in the Sector.

Quote
but the way i understand the blog post, this back-and-forth was a new idea unique to the Mora. in fact, it even seems to be meant as explanation for why the Mora exists despite the availability of Heron and Venture!

and the Mora's re-militarization happened after the collapse. so even if the Venture was initially designed as a combat ship, by the time of the collapse the blueprint itself would've been altered to that of a civilian ship, requiring some post-collapse military upgrades (mainly the additional weapon mounts) to get to its current form.

I can totally see why the Mora exists in spite of the Venture: the Venture doesn't even compare to the Mora as a carrier, at all. The Heron is also understandable given that the Heron has speed while the Mora has better armaments and durability. You don't need "the Mora is a budget carrier" as a reason to bring it back to active service, particularly since antiquated Hegemony doctrine would naturally favour the Mora.

Plus the Mora is a fully-fledged combat ship whereas the Venture is quite obviously not. I wouldn't call whatever the Venture got a "re-militarisation" when you compare it to the Mora. If the current Venture is close to the original military design then it's a rather poor one.

Quote
The Venture however with its many civilian features is obviously not a pure military conversion.
well yes, that was exactly my point: even total conversions from purely civilian to purely military ships seem to be both common and cost-effective in the sector, so i really don't see why a couple military upgrades to the Venture that still leave most of the original hull intact wouldn't make sense "because militarisation of a cruiser requires significant resources"? :P

My last sentence was the key: it's a question of what you are trying to achieve. If your goal is to get a hauler/miner/explorer, you can get them for cheap (compared to a warship) without compromising its effectiveness as a hauler/miner/explorer. Investing in defences can improve your profits by mitigating losses to piracy but doesn't directly improve its effectiveness as a hauler/miner/explorer. At some point then further improvements in defences is wasted investment.

Basically, think about why the Buffalo still gets used even though the Tarsus exists. If your goal was a warship, well the actual warship is more expensive than your full civilian conversions, so again: budget!
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 07:47:34 AM by Embolism »
Logged

Cik

  • Admiral
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2017, 07:35:02 AM »

the venture isn't a mining ship, really. the shepherd is a mining ship; it's primary purpose, is you know, shooting the rocks and extracting the goodies. the venture is a mining ship, but shooting the rocks is probably an afterthought. what it's truely for, being a cruiser is:

carrying the flag of the mining/trading detachment (commanders, officers, skilled personnel, VIPs)
protecting those people (strong armor, reasonable defensive capabilities, fighter bay capable of force projection)
discouraging piracy by defending it's subordinate ship(s)
carrying supplies (food, weapons, personnel, extra weapons, maintenance material, fuel, etc etc)

it's a cruiser after all. it wouldn't even probably be deployed without a fleet around it. too valuable and unwieldy.

but saying "it's just a civilian mining ship" is pretty silly. ventures probably form the backbone of many 'trade' fleets. even perform as mobile headquarters for entire corporations. a single cruiser is probably pretty rare, fluffwise. i wouldn't expect that you would ever deploy one without reasonable defenses and a supporting fleet (even if that fleet is just civilian stuff)

the game shortchanges all this by making ships far less rare than they probably are. cruisers die in the dozens in any major engagement, just because the game infinitely spawns cruisers and thus they are not of great importance.

Logged

Embolism

  • Captain
  • ****
  • Posts: 343
    • View Profile
Re: Ko Combine: Info Wanted!
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2017, 07:40:52 AM »

Oh, I quite agree. I mean the Venture's description even says it's often used as the flagship of smaller corps and pirate fleets.

The discussion is about whether the Venture was upgraded after the Collapse to fulfill this role, or whether it was a military-downgrade from before the Collapse that happens to fill this role well.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2